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.)

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.)

 

 

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.)

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.)

SA NGALAN NG AMA, INA AT MGA ANAK (Jon Villarin, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Sa Ngalan ng Ama, Ina at Mga Anak:

1. Somebody needed to trim his armpit hair.

2. Since the cast included a big star like Daniel Padilla, he got his own love story arc. Unfortunately the girl was not Kathryn Bernardo.

3. I wonder if all the Padilla boys acted the same way. They talked like there was phlegm permanently stuck in their throats. All hammy, too.

4. Mariel Rodriguez got out of bed butt naked and people started giggling. Was it because of the gratuitous nudity?

5. Wait, was that Aljur Abrenica in a Star Cinema movie? Where was his gratuitous nudity?

6. Robin’s constant posturing and pouting in this movie would make him the perfect choice for a local version of Zoolander.

7. Remember those Fernando Poe, Jr. movies where he was invincible to all flying bullets? Here, the entire Padilla clan played Fernando Poe, Jr.

8. Kylie Padilla delivered her lines like she was in a third grade elocution contest where she kept pausing and forgetting her next words.

9. I’ve never seen this many time jumps since Quantum Leap.

10. With all the splattered blood onscreen, I wonder why this movie was not R-18 for excessive violence. It was like a Tarantino film, less the art.

11. I bet BB Gandanghari could have made this Padilla movie more interesting.

12. So a character jumped on a grenade but didn’t get blown to pieces and even got resurrected by an “agimat”. Ehrm.

I’d rather play Flappy Bird.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published February 4, 2014.)

MUMBAI LOVE: THE MOVIE (Benito Bautista, 2014)

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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)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

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.)