SARAH GERONIMO: THIS 15 ME (Paul Alexei Basinillo, 2018)

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Popstar Royalty Queen Sarah Geronimo is Popstar Royalty Queen Sarah Geronimo.

Sayang lang kasi hindi fully na-capture ng special ang collective energy ng sold-out crowd sa Araneta (considering na highest grossing local concert siya of all time).

May time pa na mas malakas ang sigawan for James Reid. Wait, ano na pala nangyari sa prods with Daniel Padilla and Xian Lim?

Impressive ng dancing niya sa Tala number kahit mas marami pa kanta ng mga back-up singers nya. Tapos sunod-sunod yung foreign covers eh ang daming magagandang OPM songs from her last four iconic albums.

15th anniversary and di isinama ang career-defining na To Love You More? Uhm.

Nagustuhan ko yung mga behind the scenes na lumabas ang genuine personality niya. Mas open na siya at spontaneous. Ang laking difference from her Expressions days. We needed more of that here.

The best part pa rin yung Leaving on a Jet Plane na nakasuot lang siya ng plain white tee and ripped jeans. Parang nagpapaalam na siya sa glamourous showbiz life kasi lalagay na siya sa tahimik (pero parang lang pala). Sigurado ako bumaha ng Popster tears sa Araneta that night.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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100 TULA PARA KAY STELLA (Jason Paul Laxamana, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Sabi ko hindi ako iiyak eh pero masyadong ginalingan ni JC Santos. Nasabayan ko tuloy sya sa paghagulgol nung sinabi nya na “Ikaw ang naging mundo ko.”

The love story here reminded me so much of the one that Forrest Gump and Jenny had.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 21, 2017.)

MISS GRANNY (Hwang Dong-hyuk, 2014)

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Miss Granny nga diba? So tungkol sa lola? Na merong paboritong apo? Tapos pinanood mo pa rin Javier! Ano iyak ka? Iyak ka ngayon?

I completely get why this Korean feel-good fantasy already had multiple successful Asian reincarnations. I can already imagine how this will work in a Pinoy setting.

Now I’m even more eager to see if Bebe Idol Sarah Geronimo and Nova Villa can match (or even exceed) the wonderful performances of the two leads here. Can’t wait!!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 21, 2018.)

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE (Susan Johnson, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Considering that I’m two decades beyond its target market, I probably enjoyed this cute YA fantasy way more than I should have.

Lana Condor (who resembled Charice in her Sunshine Corazon days) was terrific as Lara Jean, a realistic introverted girl who would choose to spend her Saturday nights watching reruns of Golden Girls. Who could relate?

I was very invested in the characters here (even if I felt sad that Aidan Shaw was already playing a father of three) that I actually wish they turned this into a series instead (I want to know more about those other boys!!). Now I really need to read that novel by Jenny Han.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 18, 2018.)

PATAY NA SI HESUS (Victor Villanueva, 2016)

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It was refreshing to watch a full-length Bisaya film where the punchlines were not people being or speaking Bisaya. Plus points for having a character working as a call center agent who was actually proud of her work.

Overall, it felt rough around the edges with a lot of jokes clearly missing the mark (e.g. the entire Angelina Kanapi sub-plot). But when it didn’t really try hard for cheap laughs, it was a winner (e.g. the entire ‘what is a puke’ discussion).

Also, Chaisters 5evs! ❤️

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 17, 2017.)

PAGLIPAY (Zig Dulay, 2016)

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One of the best-looking films filled with screencap-worthy scenes. I never had problems with drone shots and they were effectively utilized here.

Inasmuch as I loved the terrific Anna Luna (and the traditional vs modern romance theme), I was more fascinated with the other aspects of the Aeta life. Hearing one character describe an 8-10 hour walk from town to town was enough to break my heart.

I really wish it had less hugots and more insights.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 17, 2017.)

SIGNAL ROCK (Chito Roño, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Where the little details of small town life mattered a lot (effects of people coming and going, pros and cons of the bayanihan concept, limited supply of electricity and lack of network signal, barrio problems that consisted of petty brawls in a pasayaw, etc.).

The strong ensemble cast made me feel that I had known these characters my entire life. My favorites were the dependable Nanding Josef (who had a heartbreaking carabao English scene) and Joel Saracho (one of the hardest working character actors in these last two local festivals).

I had concerns with the pacing that might have intentionally mirrored the slow town life. One storm scene that involved a bangka also had awful special effects. At least the scenes with waves crashing on those rock formations looked really gorgeous.

Side note: Did we not learn anything from that Bagani brownface brouhaha?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 15, 2018.)

 

ROUGH NIGHT (Lucia Aniello, 2017)

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Very Very Bad Things. Absolute trash (with a morally objectionable plot and resolution), but I really enjoyed it. The world needs more Kate McKinnons and Ilana Glazers.

“I can’t go to jail! I couldn’t even make it through the first episode of Orange Is the New Black!!” 🤣🤣🤣

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 13, 2017.)