MOVIE REVIEW: US AGAIN (Joy Aquino, 2020)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Ngayon ko lang na-realize na marami palang tao ang may galit sa akin. Hindi ko alam bakit tuwang-tuwa sila na i-recommend ito kahit obvious naman na napakaikli na ng buhay natin dahil sa COVID.

Anyway, so eto na nga nagsayang ako ng Sunday morning para manuod ng isa na namang ghost story. Yes, yun ang plot twist ng movie kaya huwag n’yo na panoorin (I saved more than an hour of your life and a possible visit to the optometrist dahil sa weird choice to use shaky cam dito; you can thank me later). Bakit ba nauso itong multo-multuhan genre sa atin? Hindi pa nga bumababa yung tumaas na suka (as in vomit, not Datu Puti) sa lalamunan ko pagkatapos ng Hindi Tayo Pwede at Love the Way U Lie eh meron na naman bago.

Sayang kasi magaling pa naman umarte sina RK Bagatsing (Mike) at Jane Oineza (Marge). Feeling ko mag-root ako sa love team nila in a far different movie. Pero dito, simula pa lang na lumabas sila na naka-floral couple shirt eh gusto ko na sila agad maghiwalay. Ang toxic ng relationship nila! Hindi ko nga natiis ang awayan ng favorite local couple ko na sina Popoy at Basha sa A Second Chance eh sila pa kaya na naging mag-jowa after ahasin ni Marge si Mike sa long-term gf nito (na bff ni Marge btw). Sorry girl, karma ang tawag diyan.

Nakakalungkot talaga ang state ng healthcare dito sa atin as seen through films. Kung sa Edward ipinakita ang realidad ng kakulangan ng basic facilities for the sick, dito naman ipinakita ang incompetence ng medical industry. Nakaka-bwiset yung isang med tech na puro landi ang inaatupag sa trabaho kaya napagpalit yung urine samples. Tapos yung supervisor ni Marge sabi na the facility can get sued because of what happened pero siya pa rin ang pinag-ayos ng gulo. Wala kayong legal department??

Side note: Ang pinaka-nakakainis na character dito ay yung nanay na nagpa-BP at nung nasaktan eh saka nagreklamo at sinabing kukunin lang naman niya ang x-ray result ng anak niya. Pakibigyan nga si nanay ng reseta for Ensure Gold at isang kilong mani (as in peanuts, hindi yung… alam n’yo na yun).

Anyway ulit, so may pa-plot twist nga sa dulo na kaluluwa ni Mike (na comatose) yung nagpapakita kay Marge. Kahit sobrang obvious naman agad simula nung lumabas siya suot ang white polo na laba sa Tide (huy P&G, ilang beses ko na kayo na-promote ha, send nudes). At di ba nagtataka si Marge na lahat ng tao ang weird ng reaction kapag may kinakausap siya (lalo na yung waiter na nag-take ng order niya for two; although to be fair ganun din naman ang itsura nung judgmental na cashier sa KFC whenever I give my usual order)?

Pero siguro ito talaga ang isa sa mga ultimate nightmares, no? Imagine bwiset na bwiset ka na sa ex mo at gusto mo na maka-move on tapos mumultuhin ka pa ng gago. Sabi ko nga sa’yo Marge na Carmi Martin is just around the corner.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: LOVE THE WAY Ü LIE (RC delos Reyes, 2020)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Ganito talaga ang klase ng pelikula na dapat pinapanood sa panahon ng pandemic. Yung magpapa-realize sa iyo na napakaikli ng buhay para sayangin sa panonood ng pelikula ni Xian Lim na walang kalatoy-latoy umarte.

Muntik ko na nga hindi tapusin ang pelikula kasi nangangalahati pa lang sobrang naiirita na ako. Si Xian paulit-ulit ang bintang na stalker si Alex Gonzaga (na psychic kaya laging naka-gypsy-gyspsyhan outfit) pero more hatak naman lagi para magpatulong. Yung jowa niya na si Kylie Versoza “died of a car accident” daw pero nabangga ng jeep. Si Alex lang dapat nakakarinig sa multo na si Kylie pero more sigaw ang ibang mga tao tuwing nagsasalita siya.

May eksenang humakbang ang secretary ni Xian sa cable wire offscreen. Tapos normal naman magsalita si Alex pero tinanong sya ni Xian “how it works exactly” at kung sinasapian ba sya ni Kylie. Ha? Hindi naman siya nagboses Sto. Niño diba? Basta nakakairita lahat parang yung umlaut lang sa title. Hindi pa bagay sina Alex at Xian kaya ang apt lang nung Honey, Nasa Langit na Ba Ako? reference with the love team of Regine Velasquez and Janno Gibbs.

Ang daming quirky sound effects at animated doodles at bubbles na mapapaisip ka kung biglang lalabas ang paborito mong K-drama actor. Pero mukhang hindi lang yun ang obvious influence. Hindi ko nga alam kung may pinaglumaang DVD ng Ghost sa Viva office na pilit nilang pinapanood sa mga creatives nila kaya iba’t ibang variations lang nito ang ginagawa nila recently (perfect itong companion piece ng Hindi Tayo Puwede, lalo na sa basurahan). May isang scene pa na garapalang ginaya (ay, homage pala) sa Notting Hill na akala ko madudulas si Xian habang umaakyat ng gate at mapapasigaw ng Filipino equivalent ng “Whoopsie daisy” na “Ay kabayo!!”.

Kung naghahanap kayo ng nakakatawa, fast forward n’yo na lang sa end credits tapos pakinggan n’yo ang nakakarimarim na duet nila ng “Sasakyan Kita” kung saan parang na-impacho kumanta si Xian. Enjoy!!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: FENG SHUI 2 (Chito Roño, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Feng Shui 2:

1. Roño mentioned in a recent interview that he didn’t want to do a sequel since he didn’t want to make the same movie. He named this Feng Shui and it was supposed to be a continuation of the original story. The title was apt since it was basically a retread of the original.

2. The previously novel idea of people dying based on their animal signs proved to be stale this time around. Who could forget the well-thought out sequence in the original where Lotlot de Leon (born on the year of the horse) got hit by an ironing board and fell to her death on cases of Red Horse? None of the deaths here had the same impact.

3. Every death had to be explained and every animal connection had to be in full view just in case the audience didn’t get it. What happened to subtlety? We’re not idiots.

4. Rat killer, Red Bull, Doug wearing a dogtag, Playboy shirt and Red Rabbit fire extinguisher, Snake Island truck, chicharon, these were the best that they could think of?

5. Bad dubbing. Really bad dubbing.

6. A lot of the characters here had never seen a bagua. I guess they weren’t able to watch the original movie.

7. Am I the only one who found it funny that a movie about karma (or close to it) actually starred Carmi Martin? Carmi Martin was really just around the corner.

8. As expected, there were mini-commercials shilling products endorsed by the stars. And so we got all the reasons why we needed to buy Nxled lights by Akari. I suddenly missed that Chunkee dinner scene in the original.

9. One clunky scene had Coco being thrown around by an invisible being. The special effect was too funny. And too lame. What was that?

10. And yet another scene was ripped from The Grudge (the eye and hair shot, you’ll remember when you see it).

11. Kris Aquino had this perpetually constipated look like she was watching Darla consume a whole lechon.

12. I guess all the zumba did her good with all those running scenes.

13. I saw the movie with the noisiest crowd ever (both fun and annoying at the same time). They were screaming their heads off as soon as the lights dimmed. I think they had lots of fun shouting in every scare scene regardless if these weren’t really scary.

14. The ending hinted at another sequel (hey Direk Chito what happened to that no sequel thingie?) and the final scene tried to be social media relevant with the bagua being shared online. So the third movie will be The Ring? Digital na ang karma? Wait, you can’t see your reflection on a picture! How will that work? I give up.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published December 26, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: WHITE HOUSE DOWN (Roland Emmerich, 2013)

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Say something funny because people are dying! Cheese has never been this rotten.

This reeked of a typical Pinoy action movie. I can’t wait for the MMFF version with Jorge Estregan, Jr. and Cesar Montano.

Because there’s always time to be funny in emergency situations. Worst movie I’ve seen this year so far.

The audience seemed to enjoy it, though. There were a lot of cheers and applause in our screening. Don’t let me stop you.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published July 8, 2013.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT (Johannes Roberts, 2018)

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Even worse than the first. Watching this movie about a family of morons getting butchered definitely put the torture in torture porn.

It was so bad that I was gleefully singing along to Air Supply’s Making Love Out of Nothing At All while the whiny daughter was getting ready to be filleted.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published June 16, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BOY PICK-UP: THE MOVIE (Dominic Zapata, 2012)

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Completely unbearable. If I didn’t pay good money (and if it wasn’t so damn hot outside), I would have walked out after 15 minutes. Sarah Lahbati needed to join extensive acting workshops since she delivered her lines like she was in a grade school play. Poor Solenn Heussaff had to slam her pretty face in a pie and make love with a blueberry pineapple “croissant”. Must be desperate times. This movie was simply a 5-minute Bubble Gang skit stretched to 2 hours of moronic proportions. It would probably end up as the worst movie of the year.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published June 14, 2012.)

TV REVIEW: JO KOY: IN HIS ELEMENTS (Michael McKay, 2020)

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Mukhang naubusan na ng Vicks jokes si Josep kaya inulit-ulit na lang ang clichéd nurse at karaoke references (pero seryoso hindi man lang in-update to videoke?).

Siguro maiiyak ako kung nagbayad ako ng Php7k for front row seats sa Solaire tapos ang mapapanood ko parang #PinoyFried episode ng It’s Showtime. Mas marami pa airtime ang clips pandering to a false sense of national pride at ibang guest acts kesa sa actual stand-up.

Yung feeling na sobrang excited ka manood at makinig sa mga relatable Pinoy jokes tapos ang makukuha mo breakdancers, ibang Fil-Am comedians talking about dick sizes, at si Iñigo Pascual.

To quote the real Pinoy Pride of 90 Day Fiancé, “Ngiii!!”.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: MOEBIUS (Kim Ki-Duk, 2013)

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Similar to A Serbian Film, I probably would never watch this one again. It succeeded on its intent to shock and disturb (penile implant! penis ingestion! incest! self-mutilation! sado-masochism! rape!), but it didn’t rise above such a shallow goal.

It was also dialogue-free (for no apparent reason) so I ended up supplying the lines halfway through just to keep myself awake.

Watch Pieta instead.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published June 12, 2017.)