BRIDE FOR RENT (Mae Czarina Cruz, 2014)

e1609437-50cb-4e52-8cd7-f974c6940bd0

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Bride for Rent:

1. Trying hard to act was one thing. Trying really hard to play it straight was another.

2. The lines were so corny but Kim Chiu delivered them with such gusto. I really loved her comic timing in these rom-coms.

3. Lola’s boy. Check. Spiffy wardrobe. Check. Worked in a production company. Check. Screamed like a girl. Check. No wonder he didn’t want to get married.

4. I think I just split my kidneys while laughing so hard during Kim’s shower scene. She completely owned this movie.

5. Kim and Xian looked good together so the kilig factor was high but I wished he could go toe-to-toe with her acting prowess.

6. I really liked the bit with the real-life couples. It made me want to believe in forever.

7. “If a person knows how to say sorry, then he is a step closer to becoming a better person.”

8. Oh no, I bet Chinito would be messing with my brain the entire night!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 20, 2014.)

Advertisements

MUSLIM MAGNUM .357 (Francis Jun Posadas, 2014)

06797a86-4c3b-4ce6-97d0-b778c6b596f9

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Muslim Magnum .357:

1. I need to know how to paint that mustache on my face in time for this year’s Halloween. That thing deserved second billing.

2. The way Jeorge Estregan emphatically pronounced the name of Allah each and every time actually sounded sacrilegious. A lot of young guys tried to imitate it earlier and I was just happy that nobody felt offended.

3. Sam Pinto was such a horrible actress that even her screams sounded fake. How could somebody not even know how to naturally scream? She sounded dreadful and funny. She also kept tripping and hitting stuff and they didn’t look intentional. Oh, she had a great contract. No kissing scenes here.

4. The movie kept reminding us every twenty minutes of the nobility of Muslims. And then it showed Estregan virtually killing everyone in sight.

5. Jerico Estregan gave the most butch performance since Xian Lim in Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo. He further proved that the acting gene certainly didn’t run in the family.

6. Victor Basa School of Acting: dialogue, dialogue, blink, dialogue, blink, dialogue, dialogue, blink.

7. In one scene, Pinto needed an idiot board to say this line: “Kelangan ko ng 25 million pesos para pakawalan.” She was supposedly playing a smart teacher.

8. In the next scene, they played the ransom video that was completely different from what was filmed earlier. Hey, even ransom videos needed to be properly edited, right?

9. John Regala’s beard must have been so heavy that he could barely move his mouth to speak. This movie should have been subtitled Attack of the Facial Hair.

10. Ten minutes into the movie, I knew that the only way to forget this highway robbery was to give in. I laughed all my way through the two hours and twenty minutes of this utter nonsense.

11. Who could resist this classic line: “Sa oras na magkaputukan, magkakagulo ang mga tao dito.” Weh di nga?

12. Or this other classic line uttered by Roi Vinzon: “Tinyente ka pa lang, heneral na ako. Mygahd!!!!!”

13. Or the scene where a character used Google Maps to locate a person. Or the blood stains made of ketchup. Or the crazy fistfight at the end. Or the entire scene discussing the different types of Magnums.

Oh, Jeorge, you just made my night.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published January 7, 2015.)

MY BIG BOSSING (Tony Reyes, Marlon Rivera, Joyce Bernal, 2014)

13bd86ce-ad53-49bf-9cb3-eeaa47d9ce4f

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on My Big Bossing:

1. Vic Sotto just had this certain charm that I wasn’t surprised when the ladies kept fawning at him. In the movie’s very first scene, he simply said a throwaway “Exchuse me!” and I couldn’t control my laughter. In the second segment, he even showed some range dealing with a dead daughter. Good one, Bossing!

2. Sotto wore a crisp white polo shirt and of course I knew what was coming next: “Bossing sa kaputian!”. To be fair though, this sequel only had a few commercials. The only other product I noticed was PLDT Home.

3. The Sirena segment by Tony Reyes could have been an episode of Okay Ka, Fairy Ko. Only this one had Ryzza Mae Dizon donning a mermaid costume. It was still a very weak entry already given its sitcom roots. People just kept getting pushed in different bodies of water. Not funny.

4. Speaking of Dizon, why haven’t we seen her launching movie yet? She has the same spunk and charm of a young Aiza Seguerra. Given the right material, she can achieve the same superkid status. She’s just too adorable. Obviously I’m a fan.

5. The cast of Ina-Tay was here! (Refer to Cinemalaya 2014.)

6. Manilyn Reynes was supposed to play a fish vendor so they covered her up with dark make-up. Sometimes it looked like she had jaundice instead.

7. The Taktak segment by Marlon Rivera had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, there were just so many sub-plots to tackle in forty minutes. You’re not yet completely forgiven for the first one, Sir. Not yet.

8. Dizon here played Angel, a version of Elsa (more La Aunor, less Frozen) and she looked funny during the seances. This reminded me so much of Judiel Nieva, the transgendered lady who apparently could see the Virgin Mary back in the early 90’s. Wikipedia refers to her as an actress and businesswoman.

9. Marian Rivera looked good onscreen but has she ever played any character that didn’t scream her head off at other actors? Her characters always sounded shrill and high-strung like she was invoking the spirit of Maricel Soriano during her Inday days.

10. One obvious gaffe: Jose Manalo’s character texted Angel looking for her even if in the previous scene he was seen walking away with her.

11. One ghost mentioned something really scary and had always been one of my fears: “Susundan kita sa banyo.” Imagine a dead relative watching you take a shower in all your naked glory. Horrors!!

12. The third segment called Prinsesa by Joyce Bernal looked really good. Granted, most of the castle scenes were shot in Fernbrook Gardens in Las Pinas, I was impressed with the village that looked very much like The Shire and was populated by digital animals. Eat your heart out, Peter Jackson!

13. One character had his tongue cut off and was shown all bloody in a succeeding scene. What happened to the General Patronage rating?

14. If Mara Clara was a fairy tale, this would be that version.

15. At first I thought that the trilogy was very Eat Bulaga Holy Week presentation levels. And then it dawned on me. It was trying to be that other movie anthology, Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang. Am I right, 80’s kids?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published January 5, 2015.)

EDSA WOOLWORTH (John-D Lazatin, 2014)

5526E391-39EE-4AB9-A6F6-82C13EFB66F4

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Edsa Woolworth:

1. The poster spoke the truth when it mentioned that the movie was all about the family. It was basically a slice of life dramedy about an unconventional family based in San Francisco. Sadly, it was also as bland as its tagline.

2. Pokwang was able to flex her dramatic muscles a few years back with the TFC-produced A Mother’s Story, a fine enough film about an OFW that only turned silly during its last act. She seemed more relaxed here as Edsa, hitting every cue with her good comic timing (“Are you good in bed?”, “I love balls!”) or quick-flowing tears.

3. Surprisingly, Pokwang’s performance was overshadowed by Ricci Chan, a gifted theater actor who was just a delight to watch in a major role on the big screen. Sure he still had some noticeable tics especially during confrontation scenes but he just delivered his lines with aplomb, whether he was mentioning the 500-thread count of his Egyptian cotton sheets to his cheating boyfriend or verbalizing the hidden emotions of just about any gay person.

4. What kind of parent would name his/her child Epifania delos Santos Woolworth? Besides, wouldn’t this just be Eds Woolworth?

5. All Americans in the movie were just too nice. Edsa’s Caucasian father was a paradigm of kindness, a massage client allowed her to sprawl out on the master bed, and a store manager even let her finish her nap on a bed display (and even took her out to dinner after!).

6. I was surprised to see Lee Robin Salazar again. Wasn’t he part of the Manoeuvres and even played a bit role in that classic Viva movie, Do Re Mi? Tell me I’m not crazy.

7. It was weird to watch kissing scenes with mouths fully closed. Just me? Okay.

8. There was really nothing much to propel the story forward. The tender moments just couldn’t compensate for the tedium of the rest of the film. It even threw in a predictable twist in the last act after supposedly tying up all loose ends.

9. Happy ending! Sad ending! Happy ending!! Sad ending!! Happy ending!!!!!

10. I guess that marriage wouldn’t last long since it was sukob.

11. I actually cringed at that final scene where a dead major character was on a hill smiling at the happy living family members. Eek!

12. Overheard during the movie:
“Naka-try ka na ng jacuzzi?”
“Oo, sa Pansol.”

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published January 15, 2015.)

TOP 10 MMFF MOVIES (2000-2016)

688743E3-1B04-40F7-9EBD-72EAB428FBAF