MEAN GIRLS (Mark Waters, 2004)


This film on queen bees and wannabes is just so fetch.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published August 19, 2014.)


GONE GIRL (David Fincher, 2014)


“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”

Gone Girl was great as a murder-mystery-thriller. It was even more brilliant as a commentary on the absurdity of marriage. Watch now.

Ben Affleck was so good in making us doubt him, seeth with anger, and yet sympathize with his amoral character. Probably his best work in years.

The real star though was Rosamund Pike, cooing her lines like the most twisted angel. She was just brilliant. An Oscar nod please!!

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published October 16, 2014.)



A tragic tale of one man’s loss of innocence. Social realism at its finest.

I think Insiang is the best Filipino film of all time. After rewatching Maynila Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, I might have to reconsider.

What I love most about it is that it has all the qualities of poverty porn but it feels natural and never exploitative.

It’s sad that Bembol Roco has been relegated to character actor roles now. He’s just too good in this movie. It must be the Brocka touch.

The young Hilda Koronel is inarguably the most beautiful face ever to grace Philippine cinema. Bar none.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published August 12, 2013.)

JOHN DENVER TRENDING (Arden Rod Condez, 2019)


NOON: Nag-post ng suicide prevention hotline at nandiyan daw para dumamay sa mga kaibigan na depressed at kelangan ng kausap.

NOON: Woke feminist na galit kapag may nasasabing masama sa kababaihan.

NOON: Galit na galit sa batang nanuntok ng kaklase. Masama raw ang bullying. Hindi dapat nananakit ng kapwa lalo na ang mga walang kalaban-laban.

NGAYON: Naglabas ng isang 1,000-word essay sa Facebook at pa-witty tweets sa Twitter kung paano maging isang busilak na tao at gumamit ng inane at poorly-worded language tulad ng “slut”, “ahas”, at “ang kapal ng mukha at pekpek mo gurl ikaw na ang nang-agaw ikaw pa ang nagmamaganda pakamatay ka na boba!”.

We (oo, lahat tayo guilty dito) are a nation of hypocrites.

(At dahil ang post na ito ay prime example ng toxic call-out culture, does that make it meta or just ironic?)

Rating: ★★★★★

TUOS (Derick Cabrido, 2016)



A lot of people will get turned off by the dream-like narrative of Tuos, which included deeply-rooted Pinoy folklore, breaking traditions, a tribal dance by La Aunor, gorgeous animation set to Banaue Miclat’s haunting voice, and a hung tikbalang. I was just enthralled.

Is it even possible to upstage THE Superstar? Well, Barbie Forteza just did. Such a talented young actress!!

TRANSIT (Hannah Espia, 2013)


That rare moment when all elements combined perfectly to create a moving and sincere debut film.

Transit was an insightful and heartbreaking look at the plight of Filipino immigrants (and their children) in Israel.

The performances in the film were just top-notch. Irma Adlawan was brilliant. Ping Medina was brilliant. Mercedes Cabral was brilliant.

Jasmine Curtis-Smith was a revelation here. She had two highly-emotional scenes with the Irma Adlawan and she was so good in both.

I loved how the kid resembled 80’s child star Jaypee de Guzman. And his character was named Joshua like in Life is Beautiful.

The fractured narrative and skillful direction made Espia not just a promising filmmaker but a great storyteller to watch out for.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published August 5, 2013.)

HARI NG TONDO (Carlos Siguion-Reyna, 2014)


I loved, loved, loved Carlos Siguion-Reyna’s Hari ng Tondo! The setup felt forced and it stumbled in its last act but it was a joy to watch.

Like any Bibeth Orteza screenplay, it got preachy in the end but it was still great, each scene propelling the story forward.

Robert Arevalo has the Best Actor (Director’s Showcase) award in the bag. He’s just always brilliant in the hands of Siguion-Reyna.

I hope Cris Villonco also gets recognized for her strong work. She’s gone a long way from her previous teenybopper roles.

I think I just found my favorite film in this year’s festival.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published August 4, 2014.)