MISTERYO SA TUWA (Abbo dela Cruz, 1984)

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Kung may natutunan man ako sa Feng Shui ni Tita Krizzy at sa kwento ni Hurley sa Lost, ito ay laging may kapalit ang swerte (lalo na ang biglaang yaman). Isipin mo one moment nag-iinuman at nagsasayawan kayo sa isang pagdiriwang tapos dahil sa isang twist of fate ay biglang nabalot ng malas at kamatayan ang masaya n’yong barrio.

Ang daming gustong sabihin ng pelikula at ganito ang masarap himayin sa isang film class or movie club. Nakakatuwa din na nauna pa ito sa A Simple Plan ni Raimi (kasi sobrang pareho sila ng story) at Reservoir Dogs ni Tarantino (na may similar tenga-slicing scene).

Johnny Delgado, Tony Santos, Sr., Ronnie Lazaro, Alicia Alonzo, Ama Quiambao, Lito Anzures, Ray Ventura, Vangie Labalan, etc. Mapapamura ka na lang sa galing ng ensemble na ‘to.

May looting scene na nag-uunahan at nag-aagawan ang mga taong-bayan dun sa pinagbagsakan ng eroplano. May pact ang magkakaibigan na walang aamin sa secret nila. Tapos biglang may anti-rat campaign ang gobyerno hahaha ang talino!!

(Also, ang ganda ng restoration pero may mga parts talaga na hindi na na-salvage sayang.)

Rating: ★★★★★

127 HOURS (Danny Boyle, 2010)

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If I were ever trapped between a rock and a hard place, I probably wouldn’t even survive the first hour because: 1) I have an extremely low tolerance for pain, 2) I couldn’t even drink McDo’s milk tea, let alone my own urine, and 3) I fainted twice during the last twenty minutes of this film.

I’ll reserve all my adventures inside my bedroom thank you.

Rating: ★★★★★

HIMALA (Ishmael Bernal, 1982)

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Ishmael Bernal. Ricky Lee. Nora Aunor.

If I claim that they’re the Holy Trinity of Philippine Cinema, am I speaking the truth or just acting like a blasphemous false prophet?

(Fun fact: Ate Guy almost won the Berlin Film Festival Best Actress prize. She lost by one point.)

P.S. Sino ba talaga ang bumaril kay Elsa?

Rating: ★★★★★

ON THE JOB (Erik Matti, 2013)

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A near flawless movie marred only by the weak performance of Gerald Anderson. He was a pussy in a group of roaring lions.

This was a smart and stylish thriller (it reminded me so much of The Departed) that left me depressed with the current state of local politics.

Aside from the skillful direction of Erik Matti, its cinematography and score made the film a cut above the usual Pinoy film noir.

Joel Torre gave a magnificent, towering performance. I admired all the restraint in his acting. Joey Marquez and Leo Martinez were also great.

Really sad to see Gerald in the central role, though. His stilted and phony delivery almost ruined the movie for me. Coco Martin wasn’t available?

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published September 8, 2013.)

THE HANDMAIDEN (Park Chan-wook, 2016)

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“When Jinlian finally took off her clothes, Ximen Qing examined her Jade Gate, discovering the Secret Well to find it hairless, white as snow, and smooth as jade. Tight as a drum, and soft as silk. Once he drew apart the curtains of flesh, a scent of well-aged wine emanated from within, and on fold upon fold of the red velvet interior, beads of dew were forming. Its centre was dark and void, yet as if it had its own life, it twitched and twitched.”

What did I just watch? 😳😳😳

(Loved it, obviously.)

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published September 6, 2018.)

MONSTERS, INC. (Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman, 2001)

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I recently learned that Boo’s real name is Mary (also the name of the little girl that voiced her).

Disneyland should come up with a ride similar to that door chase sequence.

And that final frame gets me every single time. 😭

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published September 6, 2017.)

THE BUTLER (Lee Daniels, 2013)

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Pure Oscar bait but it was indeed a phenomenal Oscar-worthy film.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler was a powerful look at the rich history of African-Americans in the US and their struggles amidst brutal racism.

There were so many effective moments that incited fear and sadness with their lucid depiction of living as a colored person.

Forest Whitaker deserved another Oscar for his spectacular performance as the subservient turned subversive title character.

Oprah Winfrey was phenomenal as the wife. The big-names supporting cast proved to be a bit of a distraction but were fine, too.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published August 26, 2013.)