MOVIE REVIEW: SO IT’S YOU (Jun Lana, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on So It’s You:

1. Was this movie shot in high-definition? The camera was so unforgiving to JC de Vera.

2. Since when was Fernbrook located in Ayala Alabang Village?

3. I think the lead character’s family was supposed to be nouveau riche with their gaudy clothes and furniture. One family’s expensive was another man’s tacky.

4. I wasn’t sure how Carla Abellana’s character ended up as product specialist (or as the character said, “med rep”). Shouldn’t she be running her family’s business and leave all the hard work to us middle class people? Besides, with those excessive accessories, bejeweled iPad, and leopard print clothes, who’d even take her seriously?

5. The movie tried too hard to be current with all of its technological and social media references. It was the first time for me to hear the phrase “Peksman walang delete” and it made me love the icky “Boom panes” more. (Although I think one character mentioned, “May nagtweet sa IG” and I wasn’t even sure how that worked.)

6. The family’s shoe business reminded me of my favorite sapatero, Ms. Laida Magtalas, of course.

7. How could a supposedly rich girl who loved branded items and drove a car covered with the Louis Vuitton logo not even know Manolo Blahnik? It was a good thing she was schooled by her gay BFF (of course!).

8. Kevin Santos and Paolo Ballesteros were the reasons to watch this mess. The former especially was so into his character that I wished he just had a movie of his own. Amparo Munoz would be proud of him.

9. Warning: Don’t use your cellphone while driving. Especially if it’s chunky and as big as a tablet. Wait, maybe it was an actual tablet.

10. I could do a mean impression of Tom Rodriguez. Seriously. With this and Bekimon, I think I’ve mastered his expressions.

11. To be fair, I really liked the scene where Carla imagined how her dream wedding would have been. It was funny but heartbreaking. Now if only the movie had more of that and less of the Instagram selfies.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 11, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: DA POSSESSED (Joyce Bernal, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Da Possessed:

1. Where were the possessions to begin with? Did they come up with a supposedly funny title first before working on the story? They failed on both btw.

2. Vhong Navarro’s haircut made him appear like Jim Carrey and the film was indeed dumb, dumber, and dumbest.

3. I had been very patient with this movie up until that extended Bollywood dance sequence. What the flying fuck?! I demand a refund!!

4. “Nabugbog ako. Hindi niyo ba nabalitaan?” #groan

5. I should have seen this last Black Saturday. This would have been the perfect penance for Holy Week. Pure torture.

6. The only good thing here was the trailer of Sarah and Coco’s Maybe This Time shown before the movie.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published April 27, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THIRD EYE (Aloy Adlawan, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Third Eye:

1. Where did Regal Films get these extras? The acting in the first five minutes was just horrendous! I hope that wasn’t the only scary thing here.

2. You know that somebody else dubbed for Ejay Falcon since he spoke fluent English.

3. The lead character with the third eye played an opthalmologist. With a cheap painted office signage.

4. Girl, you actually wore a lacy frock paired with a gypsy skirt. Don’t act surprised that your husband left you!!

5. Palmolive should give Carla Abellana a bonus. She was haggard from all the running, but her hair maintained that perfectly bagsak look.

6. It was broad daylight. Wasn’t it too early for the aswangs to be wearing Mena cream?

7. Carla decided to fight back and returned to the aswang village carrying a… golf club!! I hope that was a 9-iron.

8. The aswangs had proper dining etiquette. They placed the laman-loob first in a bowl before making papak. Emily Post would be proud.

9. An entire village had to use a battering ram to break open a puny wooden door. Even if the house had a lot of open windows. LOL!

10. Poor Alex Medina. He was so good in Babagwa and he was just wasted in this crapfest.

11. Wait, if this was an aswang movie, why was it called Third Eye?!

12. Blind.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published February 28, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: ABNKKBSNPLAKO?! THE MOVIE (Mark Meily, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on ABNKKBSNPLAko?! The Movie:

1. Most of the pop-culture references will alienate the Gen-Y crowd. If you’re part of this group, don’t even bother. (Sample test: Who is Robby Rosa?)

2. I never bought the whole idea of Jericho Rosales as a high school student even with all his exploding zits. I did consider buying Eskinol Master after the screening.

3. The book’s wit and humor obviously didn’t translate well on screen. Actually, the movie barely had a plot and was just satisfied with stitched-up vignettes about life in school.

4. I tried to remember if I have ever pooped or peed in my shorts during my elementary days. (Answer: No, I think.) Unfortunately, I also remembered everyone in my school who suffered that fate. (No, I will not name-drop.) I believe in karma so I guess they’re all rich now.

5. One scene had two kids enter the cinema to watch Bagets. Was that even possible? I remember one of my wishes as a kid was to grow up so I could watch R-18 movies because even PG movies required a guardian. I know this since I’ve spent all my life in theaters.

6. The movie did get the Orchestra, Balcony, and Loge sections right, though. I can’t believe I was already alive when ticket prices were only P20.

7. Andi Eigenmann wore too much make-up for a high schooler. Vandolph had a noticeable tattoo on his arm. These kids wouldn’t have survived in my school.

8. The movie completely ran out of material after 80 minutes. I should have re-read the book instead.

9. If the mere mention of Nutribun makes you feel nostalgic, then this one’s for you.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published February 22, 2014.)

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW: BASEMENT (Topel Lee, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Basement:

1. Why were some of the actors not using their own voices? And why were they overacting like there’s no tomorrow?

2. The movie could easily be summed up as “a bunch of morons trapped in a mall with an aswang”. Are you laughing already?

3. The performances here were horrible. Everyone wanted to be the worst actor and they all won. Special credit to Sarah Lahbati and Teejay Marquez.

4. I simply lost it when the lower half of the manananggal wearing black Soen panties started prancing around.

5. One character had a handful of salt and ran after Ms. Soen. By the time she caught up with it, the salt was gone. It… melted?!

6. The lead character challenged the manananggal to a duel and brought out a… fire extinguisher!! Whee!

7. The only thing scary here was that I paid Php180 for this crap. What a waste!

Don’t expect hugs from a scared date. She’ll probably slap you instead for making her watch this.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published February 15, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: STARTING OVER AGAIN (Olivia Lamasan, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Starting Over Again:

1. With a better treatment (and alternate ending), this could have been a great Star Cinema, feel-bad Pinoy movie. It might have been predictable and clunky, but it did have some really good lines and realistic scenes of heartbreak.

2. Toni Gonzaga (as Patty) was effortlessly funny, although she struggled a bit in her dramatic scenes. (Side note: She needs to have her legs insured. They looked amazing and she knew just how to accentuate them.)

As Marco, Piolo Pascual just didn’t seem to exert any effort at all. Was I the only one annoyed by his excessive use of the word “diba” in that confrontation scene? It didn’t help that he sounded more bitchy than hurt. (At least he fared much better in his silent crying scenes.)

3. In all my years of travelling to and from Alabang, I’ve never taken an actual train. Especially since there are hundreds of buses and jeepneys and shuttle services that will drop you in South Station or Metropolis/StarMall. Where is this train and where are its stops?

On a related note, my favorite scene in that sequence was that of Patty getting off a moving bus. It was just too hilarious. And it elicited the expected reactions from the very amused crowd.

4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Iza Calzado is a brilliant actress. I loved how calm and collected she was during Patty’s confrontation scene with Ginny. Her restraint showed the maturity of her character and her nuanced performance made that scene even more powerful. She also had the best lines in the movie. I wonder why she’s not given the projects she deserves.

5. “A relationship should have the right ingredients: love, trust, and an allowance for mistakes. Love is greater than someone’s failures. In love there is no fear.”

I bawled my eyes out.

And Patty’s line about their non-romantic love:

“Our love may be quiet and boring, but it’s sure.”

Shet. Pass me the tissues.

6. If I were in this movie, I would be Beb played by the dependable Cai Cortez (ok, insert the fat joke here). But really, I saw myself in her character. I would be that one friend who wouldn’t mince words no matter how brutal the message would be; that one friend who would offer you a hug then slap you back to reality.

7. I will forever use these memorable lines in future drinking sessions with relapsing friends:

“Yang hope na yan, lason yan. Parang drugs, nakaka-adik.”

“Adik ka na naman sa pag-asa. Try mo kaya lumaklak ng realidad.”

8. Why do we have this growing trend in local movies where seemingly smart women beg other women to lend or give up their boyfriends/husbands? Icky.

I’m happy to see though that the “third wheel” here wasn’t made to look like a devil in the last act just to justify the break-up and possible happy ending for the leads. Patty was really nice and giving and there was just no reason for Marco not to love her. In fact, she did look like Mama Mary.

9. And here’s my message to all my exes (parang ang dami): “I can never un-love you. I just love you in a different way now.” (Sob.)

10. I really hated that wood-crashing scene. It felt straight out of a Wenn Deramas movie. Worst possible deus ex machina.

11. After Forever and a Day, I wonder if Star Cinema will ever have the balls again to end films the way they really should.

I’m sure a lot of people loved the cameos and they felt the need to give its audience a hopeful ending. In real life though, it would take years before Ginny will get over Marco, more years for her to pick up the pieces, and even more years to finally meet the right one. (And that’s already being hopeful.)

12. If the movie ended with Ginny deleting the message and the camera panning out showing Ginny ready to move on with the swelling theme song in the background, I would probably have rated this higher. Maybe they’ll consider that for the DVD? For all the Bebs out there, please?

P. S. Two girls in front of us were taking selfies (with flash) during the closing credits so I gave one of them “sungay”. Made them stop.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published February 14, 2014.)