28 WEEKS LATER (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2007)

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Unpopular opinion: I really liked this fast and furious (very much like its rage-infected zombies) sequel better than Danny Boyle’s critically-adored 28 Days Later.

I was hoping for a 28 Months Later with an Asian setting, but we already got the equally-enjoyable Train to Busan.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published November 11, 2018.)

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12 MONKEYS (Terry Gilliam, 1995)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Paano nga kaya kung meron somebody from the future na mag-time travel back to 2019 looking for answers kung bakit na-wipe out ang majority ng human population because of a deadly mutated virus? Siguro dapat ilista ko na ang pangalan ng mga unggoy na nagpalaganap ng anti-vaccine movement.

Bruce Willis Serious Actor >>> Bruce Willis Action Hero Slash Movie Star

And ang galing lang nung sinabi ni James Cole (Willis) yung “All I see are dead people” na very similar sa linya ni Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) sa The Sixth Sense.

Burning questions:

1. After the chase and shootout that happened in the airport, paano pa rin nakalipad ang plane ni Dr. Peters (David Morse) who was carrying the virus?

2. Anong effect ng death ni future James sa space-time continuum (lalo na at na-witness yung event ng younger version of himself)? Also, if his death happened in the past, then part siya ng history at alam ng future scientists that sent him back to… what, fulfill his destiny? So naka-loop (ooh, another Willis film reference) lang ba ang buhay niya?

Ang sakit sa ulo huhu.

Rating: ★★★★☆

YOU ARE THE ONE (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2006)

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“You Filipinos are so melodramatic. You’re not even my girlfriend and you, like, expect me to give you my soul or something.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

May truth behind it pero deserve pa rin ni Vernard (Sam Milby) masampal.

Salamat Sally Malasmas (Toni Gonzaga), ang naghiganti para sa lahat ng mga Pinoy na na-deny ang US visa.

(Seriously though, this film’s an underrated gem.)

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!!

LSS (Jade Castro, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Huy, bakit parang Survivor: Redemption Island ang theme ng PPP this year? Similar to Andoy Ranay, wala akong maalala na nagustuhang film ni Jade Castro (even yung critically-acclaimed niya na Zombadings, which I found corny tbh). Tapos biglang bawing-bawi siya sa feels dito. Yung napa-wish ako na sana all-out musical siya kasi ang galing ng pagka-incorporate ng Ben&Ben songs sa critical moments ng film. (FYI, wala din akong alam na kanta nila except for Maybe the Night dahil sa Exes Baggage. Yup, kung single ako at may nakatabing cutie sa bus, mahihiya akong mag-discuss ng favorite songs kasi ang range ng taste ko ay The Search is Over at Sweet Soul Revue.)

Lakas ng star quality ni Gabbi Garcia. Granted mas magaling siya na singer kesa actress pero unang line pa lang ng pagkanta ni Sarah eh na-in love na ako agad. Naaalala ko sa kanya si Nikki Gil na very classy ang dating (although weirdly enough, may mga angles din siya na mala-Mocha Uson). Siguro yung conyo aura niya din ang reason bakit medyo off kapag inuulit niya yung “makapasok sa eksena” referring to the music scene. (Mapapansin yung difference kasi ganun magsalita yung character ni Iana Bernardez na sobrang natural dito.) Mental note here to watch more GMA shows.

Nakakaaliw ang relationship ni Zack (Khalil Ramos) at ng mega-supportive niyang nanay (an impressive Tuesday Vargas). Sobrang benta yung ride-sharing scene na may bugawan na naganap (“Di problema kung size queen ka!”) at yung eksena with the tissues (nakakatawa yung “Mabubulag ka sa ginagawa mo!”, although I also expected her to hand him a fresh box bilang very progressive ng character niya). Ang natural ng chemistry nila (Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin as mom’s film of choice was T A S T E) kaya dalang-dala din ako dun sa confrontation scene nila sa dulo (yung pagka-deliver pa lang ni Tuesday ng “Anak, wag dito” line already secured her much-deserved win).

I had some quibbles like yung dubbing nung Leaves sequence (bakit parang hindi sabay tapos iba yung words na sinasabi ni Gabbi sa audio at iba pa rin yun sa subtitles?). Natawa ako dun sa Kathang-Isip sequence (in a good way kasi masaya to see two broken people find comfort in each other) pero parang ang bilis naman nila mag-kiss agad (lalo na kung advocate si Zack ng three month rule ng One More Chance).

Nakulangan din ako sa acting ni Gabbi dun sa crucial scene (yung totoong highlight ng movie for me) na nagbigay siya ng surprise graduation gift sa brother niyang si Cedie (Elijah Canlas). Parang mata lang ni Lady Gaga sa A Star is Born. Yung lumuluha pero walang bakas ng totoong pain or hurt. Ang layo kay Elijah na napaiyak ako sa isang simpleng wince (halong guilt and realization that he was giving up on his dreams) bago sabihin na “Titigil na ako. Magbenta na lang tayo ng herbal products. Ate, sorry na”. Ang sakit sakit.

Ang ganda din siguro if na-explore fully yung art as passion vs sad practical reality theme. Napaisip ako kung ano kaya ang effect ng alternate ending kung naging full time sales agent siya habang todo successful ng kapatid niya. Siguro walang sappy ending montage to fulfill the demands of the genre.

As a cute and charming young romance flick though, it definitely hit the right notes. I’ll probably be humming these Ben&Ben tunes in the next few days.

Rating: ★★★★☆

CIRCA (Adolf Alix, Jr., 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Bilib na bilib ako kay Ms. Anita Linda dito. More than double my age na siya (she’s almost 95!!) pero alam pa rin niya lahat ng mga lines niya dito as the incredibly rich film producer Doña Atang na nakatira sa bahay ni Lola Nidora. Samantala ako hindi ko na maalala minsan saan ko naipatong ang cellphone ko. Iba talaga kapag batikang artista. Totoong walang kupas!!

Napaka-appropriate lang na kasama ito sa Sine Sandaan section ng PPP. May pagka-love letter siya to Philippine Cinema with all the juicy tidbits on the history of local film productions/filmmaking (shooting processes, crucial role ng lagarista, yung diva attitude of certain celebrities, yung rivalry nung mga stars of the golden age, etc.) tapos may mga sundot pa sa current industry (nakakatawa yung sinabi ng character ni Alessandra de Rossi na di na uso ang quality films ngayon kaya puro TV work na lang, na “mouth to mouth” duguan levels ang paggawa).

Mahilig talaga sa all-star cast si Alix (parang halos kalahati ng local film industry may cameo dun sa last movie niya na Madilim ang Gabi) kaya di naman ako nagulat sa mga bigating artista dito kabilang na sina Gina Alajar, Elizabeth Oropesa, Laurice Guillen, Ricky Davao, Liza Lorena, Perla Bautista, etc. Nakakalungkot din makita si Eddie Garcia in full Manoy glory. (Pero kasama ba sa original script yung “Ingat ka baka ka madapa?”. Grabe yung gasp ko sa part na yun nag-echo sa buong theater bilang ako lang ang nanunuod.)

Pinaka-natuwa ako kay Jaclyn Jose dito as the mayordoma of the house. Walang dramatic highlights (except for that weird Amour moment) pero markado ang pagganap. Lakas ng tawa ko nung nag-advocate siya for DVD piracy considering na nagsisilbi siya sa isang producer. Sabagay yung isang character nga sinabi na “Di naman ako namimirata ng local. Puro English lang, makabawi man kang kasi sila ang dahilan bakit tayo humina.” Hmm, magandang topic yan for discussion ha.

Marami siguro ang mababagalan sa pacing ng pelikula pero ok naman siya for me. Medyo mahaba lang at repetitive yung tribute section sa party scene. Pero sobrang fascinated talaga ako in all things na local showbiz kaya nagandahan ako (siguro ang litmus test would be if kaya mo ma-distinguish ang difference ng FAMAS at FAP statues, then this one’s for you). Natuwa din ako dun sa tikbalang na inaalayan ng ponkan kapalit ng box office returns (Mother Lily, what’s your secret?).

Basta sobrang affected ako dito. Nung nag-start na si Doña Atang ng speech niya with “Ang buhay natin ay parang pelikula…”, naluha na lang ako bigla.

Rating: ★★★★☆

OPEN (Andoy Ranay, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Sa totoo lang, up until today wala pa ako nagustuhang pelikula na directed by Andoy Ranay (although it spoke less about his skills and more about the assigned material). Mas impressed ako sa kanya dati as an actor kasi magaling siya dun sa Duda/Doubt. Backed here by a strong screenplay, I was really surprised sa kanyang assured storytelling. Madami siyang nadurog na puso sa sinehan kanina.

Nakakaaliw ang audience reactions lalo na ang mga nagwawalang babae (bakit feeling ko may ilang mag-jowa na mag-break pagkatapos nito?). Very controversial naman kasi talaga ang topic ng open relationship (described by one character here as “liberating, respectful, and loving”) lalo na in our mostly conservative culture. Nagustuhan ko sobra yung feeling na ang uncomfortable niya to watch.

Kahit ako hindi ko yan gets dati (bakit pa naging kayo kung pwede ding makipag-sex sa iba?) until I learned na I have a few friends in a similar situation. Although naiintindihan ko how it works for them, syempre di ko pa rin maiwasan na maging judgmental habang nanunuod.

Bwiset na bwiset ako kay Ethan (JC Santos in his napaka-walanghiya best) lalo na nung basically pinilit niya si Rome (Arci Muñoz) na maging open rel sila sabay threaten na maghiwalay na lang kung ayaw. Grabe ang emotional manipulation. Napaka-insensitive pa at ginawang joke yung fake proposal (“Aww nag-expect ka ba?”).

Tapos after matikman si hot momma Ina Raymundo (open rel na eh nag-cheat pa jusko mga lalaki!) at nung nakita niya na masaya na si Rome sa current setup eh biglang ayaw na open sila at nag-propose without an engagement ring. Anong klaseng selfish na balahurang toxic scum yan? Ok kalma kalma!!

“Ang tagal ko hinintay ‘to pero ngayon hindi ko na alam ang isasagot“. Tagos na tagos naman ang linya na ‘to.

Also, 2019 just might be the year of smart, strong, independent women in Philippine Cinema. Woohoo!!

Rating: ★★★★☆