MOVIE REVIEW: MILAN (Olivia Lamasan, 2004)

8C2F4B8F-240E-4DBC-95EE-1D058E6705DD

Best scene: Ilonah Jean eating pizza with rice (sans utensils, naturally) while discussing the hardships of OFWs in Italy.

Best line: After Lino (Piolo Pascual) teased Jenny (Claudine Barretto) that even God rested on the seventh day, her wry response was: “Eh kasi naman wala Siyang pinadadalhan sa Pilipinas.”

Best performance: Iza Calzado as Lino’s wife, Mary Grace. Maximum impact with minimal screen time, as always.

Runner-up best performance: Peak Ate Clau, of course. Her delivery of the line “Hanggang ngayon pakiramdam ko pokpok pa rin ako” made me reach for some Kleenex.

Needed improvements: Piolo’s pedestrian acting, jarring shifts between the love story and the documentary bits, justification (glorification?) of illegal immigrants, and that horrible Hunchback of Notre Dame outfit of Lino in the final scene. Mamma mia!!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published April 24, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: OTSO-OTSO (PAMELA-MELA WAN) (Jerry Lopez Sineneng, 2004)

11DE8680-7EDD-4B5E-87FE-5AE23CCD0A4D

The highlight was a montage set to Nikki Valdez’s Chuwariwap (“Chuwariwap means I love you…”).

Even with a lot of Intsik Beho jokes, it still wasn’t as offensive to the Chinoy community as any of the Mano Po entries.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published April 23, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: NOW THAT I HAVE YOU (Laurenti Dyogi, 2004)

7A2AF82B-09A7-4234-AD52-C327C19668A3

SPOILER ALERT!!

Ito yung John Lloyd Cruz-Bea Alonzo MRT romance. Serendipitous sana ang love story kung hindi stalker si Betsy. Nakakasabay lang niya every day si Michael eh nawala na sa sarili at feeling soulmate na. May fantasy sequence pa si loka na ginaya ang Titanic, except that sa Super Ferry ata sila nakasakay. At sinundan pa niya talaga ito sa place of work ha. Sana hindi siya na-late at magagalit ang kanyang TL. (Pansin ko lang bakit parang sa same ELJ building/site sila nagtatrabaho? Wala pa masyado budget nun ang Star Cinema?)

Malakas na talaga ang chemistry ng dalawa ever since. Gusto ko rin na wala sila pabebe phase kahit relatively bago pa ang love team. Laplap kung laplap parang totoong mag-jowa. Relatable naman yung pettiness ng pinag-aawayan nila pero medyo nakakairita. Super clingy ni Betchay tapos cheater naman si Michael. Bakit ako mag-root for their toxic relationship?

Si early Nikki Valdez talaga ang isa sa aking spirit animals. Siya yung laging voice of reason na nagde-deliver ng words of wisdom tulad ng “Walang napapala ang pagiging demure!”. Welcome comic relief din kapag nasusuya na ako sa kaartehan ni Betchay na nung nagka-jowa bigla na lang “Ang ganda talaga ng life, no?”.

Best scene yung sa dulo nung natisod si Michael sa MRT station habang tumatakbo kay Betchay. Tumilapon yung bouquet ng roses na dala niya tapos umulan ng isang garden’s worth of petals sa paligid nila. Kabog ang American Beauty. Napaisip nga ako san galing lahat ng yun. Baka yung iba eh from his baduy na floral polo. Florals in Magallanes Station? Groundbreaking!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: SANTA SANTITA (Laurice Guillen, 2004)

D66CC8F3-265A-431A-A418-4A07F323EF2C

SPOILER ALERT!!

Just imagine kung yung pinakamalandi mong bff nagising isang umaga with healing powers. At hindi lang siya basta pokpok version ni Elsa (Ate Guy, not Frozen) ha. More of Magdalena ikaw ay sawimpalad to Mama Mary real quick.

Ganun ang naging kapalaran ni Malen (Angelica Panganiban) dito. Nung una allergic siya sa simbahan at galit na galit sa nanay (Hilda Koronel) na nagdadasal kapalit ng donasyon. Tapos in a cruel twist of fate, naging instant prophet (ata kasi bigla siya nagsuot ng costume ng mga jakono) slash faith healer siya. Sa sobrang lakas niya humiling sa pagdadasal, inakala ng jowa-jowaan niya na si Mike (Jericho Rosales) na kaya niya buhayin ang namatay nitong anak na nabubulok na pero nakakunot pa rin ang noo.

Blatant ang influence ng Himala dito. Sayang lang kasi wala masyadong nasabi ang pelikula. May konting sundot about the hypocrisy of Catholics (tulad nung mga chismosang Titas of Quiapo na nagsabi na binababoy ni Malen ang simbahan for wearing her Freeway outfits with plunging necklines and short skirts pero more paninira naman sa isa’t isa to get prayer customers).

Easy target pa naman ang religion sa mga ganitong klaseng pelikula pero parang natakot siya mabansagang makasalanan. Bagay na bagay pa naman kay Angelica ang Madonna-whore role (she wasn’t Rubi for nothing). Sana mas na-explore pa yung confused feelings niya regarding that dichotomy. Para que pa na nagkaron siya (or at least visions) ng stigmata diba?

And speaking of, naalala ko tuloy bigla si Bianca Lapus na hinihimatay tuwing may interview dati tapos dumudugo bigla ang mga palad. Medyo bata pa ako nun (wew) pero I really didn’t fall for that publicity stunt. After her fifteen minutes of fame, ayun she went the way of the infamous Judiel Nieva. Tama si Ate Guy all along. Wala talagang himala.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

TOP 10 MMFF MOVIES (2000-2016)

688743E3-1B04-40F7-9EBD-72EAB428FBAF