MUMBAI LOVE: THE MOVIE (Benito Bautista, 2014)


My notes on Mumbai Love: The Movie:

1. It was hard to take a love story seriously when the lead actor wore more eyeliner than the lead actress.

2. This was no different from a typical Star Cinema movie where the location played a mere backdrop for a travelogue montage.

3. I still think that Solenn Heussaff looked great onscreen and given the right project might actually be a fine actress.

4. And the trend of me not liking a movie with Miles Kanapi continued. I couldn’t blame her though since she was such a committed actress.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published January 24, 2014.)

TALK BACK AND YOU’RE DEAD (Andoy Ranay, 2014)



My notes on Talk Back and You’re Dead:

1. James Reid and Nadine Lustre have real chemistry. Why aren’t they given good material? Maybe they need to stay away from WattPad.

2. If you asked anyone who had seen this movie, they’d most likely say that the highlight was the kitchen scene with James cooking topless. Did he not have anything else to offer? Not that I’m suggesting he strip further.

3. Joseph Marco played a gangster with flaming red hair named Red (of course!). In most of his scenes, he matched it with a red (or a similar shade) article of clothing. Because he was a cool gangster (or maybe just tacky?).

4. Speaking of gangsters, don’t we have any other characters in teen movies? And the gangsters here all wear black leather jackets. Really? In this sweltering heat? I could actually hear their armpits gasping for air.

5. Still on the gangsters, their group was supposedly called the Lucky 13 gang. In some scenes, I only counted 8 or 9 of them. Either the others were busy or this movie couldn’t afford more extras.

6. James kept using the word “retarded” and it was supposed to funny or endearing. Really? Really?!

7. A lot of teenage girls got kidnapped in this school in broad daylight. Security might not be part of their private school tuition fees.

8. I hadn’t discussed anything about the movie’s story because it was pretty much non-existent.

9. If you’ve watched Coco Martin and Angeline Quinto’s Born to Love You (why??), you’d find the ending of this film a bit similar. Except that Nadine was married (or was she just engaged to be married? I was too bored to care by then), yet they still lived happily ever after.

10. Next time James could just do a two hour topless dance routine and people would be happier.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 9, 2014.)


S6PARADOS (GB Sampedro, 2014)


I started #CinemalayaX with a disappointment and it was only fitting to end it with a clunker.

GB Sampedro’s S6parados was like a bad compilation of Regal movies stitched together for no reason. Or an extended Erik Santos music video.

At least we know that Joel Lamangan just might be a better actor than director.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published August 7, 2014.)

1ST KO SI 3RD (Real Florido, 2014)


It’d be easy to nitpick and question some choices made in Real Florido’s 1st Ko Si 3rd but in the end, it was so easy to fall in love with.

Beneath all the lighthearted fare and funny antics was a deep sadness because of choices in life and love that needed to be made.

Nova Villa deserves to win Best Actress (New Breed) for her amazing performance, perfectly balancing the humor and pain of her character. A lot of films this year had characters madly laughing while in pain. Villa had a similar scene but it was effectively quiet. Brilliant!!

Dante Rivero and Ruby Ruiz were so good as well in their respective roles. Rivero had the audience rooting for him in the MH role.

While the crowd was audibly cheering until the very end, I was bawling my eyes out. Very Bridges of Madison County feels.

I thought Sundalong Kanin had the Audience Choice in the bag. It’ll face some tough competition with 1st Ko Si 3rd, an obvious crowd pleaser.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 6, 2014.)

BWAYA (Francis Pasion, 2014)


Jeffrey Jeturian’s Tuhog was a brilliant take on how media tend to exploit real-life tragedies. Francis Pasion’s Bwaya felt just like that.

It bordered on being a cheap sensationalism piece in Rated K and a typical dramatization in Maalaala Mo Kaya.

As expected, it was full of TV Patrol acting at the expense of the usually dependable Angeli Bayani. Such a shame.

I was a tad disappointed because Pasion did this much better in his previous work Jay (a personal favorite). If there’s one thing I loved it was the gorgeous cinematography with all the aerial shots of the Agusan marshlands. Who knew the trouble that lurked there?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 6, 2014.)

RONDA (Nick Olanka, 2014)


Nick Olanka’s aptly-titled Ronda was an hour of watching policemen roam the streets of Manila. It was the most boring ride-along ever.

In one scene, a mother said this clunker while searching for her kid: “Anak ko yun. Kilala ko ang anak ko.” I’m sure you do, lady.

And yet in another, a badly-hurt man rode with the police so they could rush him to a nearby hospital. And the car moved at 20 km/h.

If there’s one good thing in this film, it was the admirable restraint shown by Ai-ai delas Alas in her dramatic scenes. She usually sobs like crazy in all those Wenn Deramas movies so it’s good to see her rein back the hysterics. A fine effort.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 5, 2014.)

DAGITAB (Giancarlo Abrahan, 2014)


Imagine a date with this really gorgeous UP graduate. You know she’s smart and she knows she’s smart. She keeps yapping endlessly about all her philosophies in life. It reaches a point though where you lose interest and just want to finish your freakin’ drink.

That was my entire viewing experience of Giancarlo Abrahan’s Dagitab, a film full of gorgeous images but was a clear test of patience.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 5, 2014.)