A MOTHER’S STORY (John-D Lazatin, 2012)

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It was the usual OFW fare that seemed to fit more on the small screen. The material didn’t offer anything new from previous films of the same nature (the Anak reference was both a winning punchline and a curse). It only required a lot of crying from its competent cast (Pokwang was a delight to watch and I loved her scenes with the equally great Daria Ramirez).

The movie did have some good moments (dramatic situations infused with much-needed humor, the non-linear structure ala Forrest Gump, Nonie Buencamino stealing his scenes with ease) until it fully crumbled in the final act where the lead became unsympathetic and all loose ends were neatly tied-up.

Not bad overall, but it could have been much better.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 12, 2012.)

24/7 IN LOVE (Mae Czarina Cruz, John-D Lazatin, Frasco Mortiz, Dado Lumibao, 2012)

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Definitely a mixed bag but the good ones greatly outweighed the stinkers. The weaker stories were saved by strong performances from Maja Salvador, Angelica Panganiban, and Kim Chiu while the interesting segments were further enhanced by the excellent turns of Bea Alonzo, Zanjoe Marudo, Xyriel Manabat, and Pokwang.

The Bea-Zanjoe segment was just so good it could have worked as an entire movie. I’d recommend this just for that wonderful bit alone.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published December 5, 2012.)

AMOROSA: THE REVENGE (Topel Lee, 2012)

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Bad, bad movie.

I pity Angel Aquino for subjecting herself to such an awful screenplay. I just hope she got a big paycheck for this.

The movie had one too many plot twists to distract you from the lack of a strong plot. It basically starred a ghost that seemed to pop up for no reason other than to scare the lead (by the end, you’d be questioning why she was doing that in the first place).

The Sophie’s Choice bit was idiotic and characters just kept making stupid decisions. One even developed amnesia after getting stabbed in the stomach.

I spent most of the time laughing instead.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 9, 2012.)

I DO BIDOO BIDOO (Chris Martinez, 2012)

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This was a fine enough movie that worked mostly because the Apo Hiking Society’s songs were magical to begin with.

My favorite one used here was Panalangin and I kept humming it all the way home. The best bit though was the hilarious Di Na Natuto with the brilliant Eugene Domingo proving once again that she’s the best actress in local showbiz right now.

It was hard not to like, but it was also hard not to notice the flaws. Several scenes were out of focus and badly-lit. The Blue Jeans sequence came out of nowhere and felt unnecessary. Overall, it was an enjoyable musical worth a watch.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published September 9, 2012.)

GUNI-GUNI (Tara Illenberger, 2012)

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My biggest problem was that you could easily guess the twist within the first 10 minutes. It wasn’t even a good twist to begin with so they had to pile several sub-plots that served as red herrings.

The movie didn’t offer anything new and hewed closely to the typical Asian horror genre (I did not see the Thai film “Alone” so I wasn’t sure if they copied parts or all of that one). This was the kind of movie where a girl with long hair covering her face and wearing a white gown would suddenly drop to the floor and crawl spider-like to her victim. The only reasonable explanation was that she idolized Sadako.

Completely lame and not-at-all scary.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 3, 2012.)

THE REUNION (Frasco Mortiz, 2012)

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I couldn’t believe the lines in this movie. The screenplay was just horrible. I cringed every time one of the leads said something supposedly mind-blowing about love. It was even worse whenever Xian Lim delivered those lines.

The audience lapped up the lame jokes and gags in the same way that they enjoyed watching Moron 5 and the Crying Lady. I was left clueless.

Not even the competent performances of Jessy Mendiola and Matt Evans could save this one from the crapper.

As a big Eraserheads fan, I was completely offended.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 3, 2012.)