KUNG FU PANDA (Mark Osborne, John Stevenson, 2008)

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There is no secret ingredient. Just two hours of pure fun and awesomeness. Go Po!

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 19, 2014.)

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PAUWI NA (Paolo Villaluna, 2016)

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Tawa. Iyak. Tawa. Iyak. I never expected a pedicab family road trip film to bring out all of these emotions.

Where do I sign up to be a member of the Chai Fonacier Fans Club? In an ensemble of Philippine Cinema greats that delivered exceptional performances (Bembol Roco, Cherry Pie Picache, Meryll Soriano), she still stood out as my favorite character here whether she was spouting lines like “Love cannot pay the bills, only the AFAM can” or complaining about her stinky pepe.

Stretched quite a bit with a pretty conventional ending, but overall still worth the journey.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 16, 2017.)

 

BAKWIT BOYS (Jason Paul Laxamana, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Completely smitten by this charmer. One character pleaded a radio station manager to give a chance to unknown but exceptionally talented artists and it couldn’t have been more apt here. The cast (led by Vance Larena and the wonderful Devon Seron) was a delight to watch.

It may not have been a musical in the strictest sense but the original songs here were really good and served their purpose. Several reaction shots especially the one with a terrific Nanding Josef (as the boys’ grandfather) beaming with pride had me crying in my seat. Good stuff!

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 16, 2018.)

TANGLED (Nathan Greno, Byron Howard, 2010)

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I initially wasn’t a fan of this Rapunzel retelling but another viewing made me really like it. It hewed closely to the typical Disney classic and even the songs were good and not annoying. Inasmuch as I love 3D animation, nothing can still beat the traditional 2D. Oh, and don’t get me started on the lantern scene.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 10, 2012.)

MERCURY IS MINE (Jason Paul Laxamana, 2016)

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An enjoyably weird ride that unfortunately went off the rails in its final twenty minutes.

I loved the screenplay because it didn’t try too hard to be funny. It also hit the jackpot with Pokwang who was truly phenomenal here.

Bret Jackson finally gave a decent performance. He had an easygoing charm that suited the role and (please don’t scoff) actually reminded me of a manic Leonardo DiCaprio.

Overall, this was a definite crowd-pleaser and I wouldn’t be surprised if it snagged the Audience Choice award.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 9, 2016.)

SA AMONG AGWAT (Don Senoc, 2019)

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Actually, very Pinoy teleserye ang kwento ng magkapatid na Jun at Mako na meron na lamang konting panahong mag-bonding sa gubat, sa batis, at sa bukid bago ampunin si bunso ng kanilang mayamang tita. Pero dalang-dala ako sa mga moments nila.

Yung kahit hindi sa’yo nangyari, maluluha ka na lang habang inaalala na ugali nilang tumawid ng hanging bridge habang kumakanta ng “Tong tong tong tong pakitong-kitong…”. Yung sepanx just got real level na parang ikaw mismo ang nangungulila habang mag-isa na lang si Jun sa mga lugar na lagi nila pinupuntahan.

Sobrang weakness ko pa talaga ang mga pelikulang maayos ang subtitles. Eto ang may pinakamalinis at pinakamalinaw sa lahat ng short film entries ngayong taon. Yung alam mong pinagtuunan talaga ng pansin lahat ng aspeto ng production. Bravo!!

(At sobrang bothered pa rin ako dun sa alphabet guide na may Q for querubin.)

Rating: ★★★★☆

EDWARD (Thop Nazareno, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Yeng Constantino left the group.

Pero seryoso, nakakapanlumo ang current state ng public healthcare natin. Parang magkakasakit din ako habang nakikita ang kakulangan ng staff and proper equipment sa ospital dito. Yung feeling na parang dinala ka dun para lang mapabilis ang pagkamatay mo. Bigat sa puso.

Nagustuhan ko si Louise Abuel sa title role ha. May natural charm siya na reminiscent of Stefano Mori kahit nililibag ang leeg niya. Tapos sobrang effective ni Dido dela Paz na hindi na rin ako makahinga sa bawat ubo niya. Pero pinakanatuwa ako kay Sarah Brakensiek as Nurse Daisy. Sample bedside manner ala nanay: “Cellphone ka nang cellphone hindi ka pa magaling!!”

Ewan ko ba kung anong kasalanan ko dito kay Thop Nazareno. Hindi ko naman naging jowa pero grabe lagi mangwasak ng puso. Ang lakas pa naman ng ilaw sa sinehan ng Evia nakita tuloy ng iba na namumugto mata ko dahil sa lecheng cupcake socks at sheer hopelessness ng ending.

Ang impressive pa ng mga long takes niya lalo na yung opening shot sa ER. Dun pa lang ipapanalangin mo na na sana sapat ang savings at insurance mo para di ka madala sa similar medical facility. Wala na ba talagang lunas ang sakit na ito?

Rating: ★★★★☆

HEIST SCHOOL (Julius Renomeron, Jr.)

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Parang patawang local version ng Bad Genius kung saan lahat sila ay Row 4. Pero tawang-tawa ako. As in.

Ang bilis na-establish nung friendship ng dalawang bida na halos sabayan ko sa pagluha yung isa sa kanila nung bandang dulo. Gusto ko din na sobrang relatable nila kasi mukha silang mga totoong estudyante at hindi parte ng Gold Squad ng Kadenang Ginto.

Best line: “Mik Mik? Matagal na akong pinag-quit ni lola diyan.”

Runner-up line: “Bakit puro A ang sagot (sa test paper)?”

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Sequel naman diyan!

Rating: ★★★★☆