MOVIE REVIEW: BOY PICK-UP: THE MOVIE (Dominic Zapata, 2012)

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Completely unbearable. If I didn’t pay good money (and if it wasn’t so damn hot outside), I would have walked out after 15 minutes. Sarah Lahbati needed to join extensive acting workshops since she delivered her lines like she was in a grade school play. Poor Solenn Heussaff had to slam her pretty face in a pie and make love with a blueberry pineapple “croissant”. Must be desperate times. This movie was simply a 5-minute Bubble Gang skit stretched to 2 hours of moronic proportions. It would probably end up as the worst movie of the year.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published June 14, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BORN TO LOVE YOU (Jerome Pobocan, 2012)

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I honestly sharpened my claws before I saw this movie since the trailer alone was a gold mine of clunky dialogue and bad diction (“Ay lab u por! Por eber!!). Between Coco and Angeline, the English language didn’t just get murdered, it ended up double dead.

With that said, the pair had such great chemistry that it was hard not to like their tandem. Her funny way of talking aside, Angeline actually had an undeniable screen presence and charm. Coco was Coco and he was the type of actor (similar to John Lloyd Cruz) that could make the most out of a weak material.

This was still a bad movie that didn’t steer away from the clichéd Star Cinema formula but it was elevated by the winning performances of its leads.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 31, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE MOMMY RETURNS (Joel Lamangan, 2012)

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Abysmal wouldn’t even begin to describe this which seemed to be a hodgepodge of ham actors, lame dialogue, unlikable characters, senseless plot, bad editing, corny jokes, and low-class special effects.

Not even the usually reliable Pokwang and John Lapus could save this terrible material. This was the kind of movie that was so bad you wouldn’t even wait for it on free TV.

I hope Joel Lamangan would stay away from this genre. Eternally.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published May 19, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: EVERY BREATH U TAKE (Mae Czarina Cruz, 2012)

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Piolo Pascual was Piolo Pascual but he seemed to be a bit old to play these cutesy roles. Oh, and his abs deserved second billing. They had more screen time than the disposable, overacting supporting characters.

Only Angelica Panganiban came out unscathed. Such a gifted comedienne and a delight to watch.

Otherwise, this was another derivative drivel populated by all sorts of caricatures. Avoid at all costs.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published May 19, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MORON 5 AND THE CRYING LADY (Wenn Deramas, 2012)

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Deramas scraped the bottom of the barrel with this idiotic movie filled with corny dated jokes and groan-worthy punchlines. I thought Praybeyt Benjamin (currently the highest-grossing Pinoy movie of all time) was his most pitiful work with its strained humor but it just got dethroned. At least that movie had a genuine comedian in Vice Ganda; this one had five actors all doing their darndest to be funny. Failing to elicit laughs would be an understatement. My constant eye-rolling almost caused a seizure. There was only one good bit involving John Lapus brilliantly imitating the cast of Shaider. Everything else was the usual piece of crap expected from the director’s brand of comedy.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published April 10, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MY KONTRABIDA GIRL (Jade Castro, 2012)

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You know that a local comedy’s in trouble when the funniest thing that it could offer was naming Aljur Abrenica’s character as Chris Bernal. You know it’s in even bigger trouble simply because it starred Abrenica, an actor so wooden he’s perfect as his TV alter-ego Machete. Poor guy even had to play a role that mocked his stilted and funny delivery. I guess that just about summed up the movie: a misguided, messy comedy that tried to be hilarious, but ended up being the bigger joke.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 24, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: HITMAN (Cesar Montano, 2012)

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If Montano was trying to bring back the glory days of Pinoy action movies, then he had ultimately failed with this piece of crap. Except for the opening credits (that didn’t feature the usual red fonts), everything in this movie was horrendous. The actors could barely act (Sam Pinto could have been replaced by a mannequin and nobody would have noticed), the screenplay was one big mess (did we really have to hear Montano comment on all the action that was happening onscreen?), and the direction was simply sloppy.

This was the kind of movie that you’d: 1) kick yourself in the head for wasting time and money on, and 2) wish would end after 30 minutes. Easily one of the worst movies of the year.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 23, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: CORAZON: ANG UNANG ASWANG (Richard Somes, 2012)

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I think that I’m in the minority when it comes to Yanggaw, the other “aswang” movie of Richard Somes. Maybe all the hype raised my expectations. I anticipated a full-blown horror movie and got a melodramatic tale of familial love instead. Corazon felt like a retread on the same themes, although it’s more of an origin story and has a bigger budget (read: beautifully shot). Erich Gonzales was fine in the lead role but she definitely didn’t get any support from the consistently bland Derek Ramsay. Most of the scenes were unintentionally funny (why, Tetchie, why?) and some were just downright crazy (and not in a good way). Neither scary nor engaging, I’m guessing half of the audience fell asleep before the closing credits.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 23, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: UNOFFICIALLY YOURS (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2012)

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From the opening sequence that involved a forgettable “laman vs. sabaw” discussion down to the clichéd dialogue we’ve heard in previous movies, you know this one’s hobbled by a weak screenplay.

Trust a gifted director like Cathy Garcia-Molina to create magic out of something formulaic. There was even a brilliant sex sequence guaranteed to elicit laughter for minutes. I didn’t completely buy the chemistry of the leads but they did really good work individually.

John Lloyd Cruz continued to show why he’s the best actor of this generation. He was charming without ever being cloying and he actually helped elevate Angel Locsin’s performance (probably her best work to date).

Overall, this latest romantic-comedy from Star Cinema didn’t really break new ground but damn it, it made me kilig the whole time.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published February 17, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MY CACTUS HEART (Enrico Santos, 2012)

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It was as corny as any Star Cinema formulaic rom-com could be.

Maja Salvador’s talents were wasted as a shrill, overacting animator who fell for a vocalist/waiter with nice abs played by Matteo Guidicelli. You’d be surprised that they were lovers offscreen since they had zero chemistry here.

Everything was cliched and contrived and you could actually hear people groan after every bad punchline (crickets too, in some scenes).

The only bright spot was Rosanna Roces and even she had the humiliating task of smelling Matteo’s armpits. Talk about stinky (or lucky?).

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published January 29, 2012.)