SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION FROM LILIA CUNTAPAY (Antoinette Jadaone, 2011)

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Even with the “aswang lady” headlining this faux documentary, the only scary thing here was how vastly underutilized Ms. Lilia Cuntapay remained in our local industry. Sure, she got stereotyped as the ultimate kid’s nightmare but her acting skills (shown here in its full glory) deserved to be in more than just horror movies. Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking, this was one of the best Pinoy films in 2011 and possibly of all-time. I’m surprised it didn’t reap a lot of awards from local award-giving bodies this year, including one for Nanay Lilia. It just made this movie even more powerful and real.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published November 18, 2012.)

CATCH ME… I’M IN LOVE (Mae Czarina Cruz, 2011)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Hay naku, buti na lang talaga at ang nakatuluyan ni Warden Roan (Sarah Geronimo) in real life ay si childhood friend Vitto (Matteo Guidicelli) at hindi si Presidential asshole Erick (Gerald Anderson). Sabihan ba naman siya na “mukhang high school teacher na tumandang dalaga”, bakit mo piniling mahalin yan girl?

May baong kilig naman ang AshRald pero hindi ko kinaya yung mga eksena dito tulad ng paglalandian nila sa pilapil. Kelan pa naging romantic ang pagyayakapan sa putikan? Eek! Anong sunod, magpapagulong-gulong kayo sa Payatas?

Wala masyadong ganap. Akala ko nga tapos na ang movie nung first hour mark kasi happy ending na. But no, biglang nagdagdag ng unnecessary conflicts (katulad ng irrational na pagiging insekyora ni Roan) na hindi naman dapat problema in the first place. Kaya ayun mabilisan din na-resolve before the pretend kissing scene (bantay-sarado pa si Mommy Divine dati eh).

Nakakalungkot talaga na ang only character development dito ni Roan eh natuto siyang mag-style ng buhok kasi wala siyang ginawa sa buong pelikula kundi ayusin ang makulit niyang bangs.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

SEGUNDA MANO (Joyce Bernal, 2011)

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Given all the hyperboles used to promote the movie, here are my thoughts: 1) If this movie were a Prada bag, it would be a cheap knockoff sold in Quiapo, 2) Dingdong Dantes equates intensity with constipation and in full eyes popping mode gives Richard Gutierrez a run for his money, 3) Angelica Panganiban could have been replaced by a blow-up doll and people wouldn’t have noticed, 4) Kris Aquino’s calculated performance reminded me of Merrill Lynch, 5) Second-rate? Not even. This movie makes Dalaw look like The Exorcist.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 14, 2012.)

TOP 10 MMFF MOVIES (2000-2016)

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ANG BABAE SA SEPTIC TANK (Marlon Rivera, 2011)

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I’m surprised by all the hate and backlash that this movie received after winning the top plum in last year’s Cinemalaya.

Former admirers started complaining that it didn’t hold up well in repeat viewings. Staunch critics further lambasted the film for being shallow and reductive. Regular moviegoers either didn’t get the jokes or found it repetitive and boring.

All these made me love the movie even more. It may not be perfect but it was a brutal, fearless, and brilliant take on the current indie filmmaking scene.

Eugene Domingo was in top form (why the local award-giving bodies failed to recognize this performance remains a mystery).

Everything related to Pinoy indie poverty porn did not go unscathed. It’s simply one of the best movies of 2011.

Rating: 5/5