MOVIE REVIEW: BLISS (Jerrold Tarog, 2017)

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What the eff did I just watch?!

I’m not sure if it was the brutal similarity to the disturbing relationship of Sarah and Mommy Divine or the blatant homage to one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations, but I really liked this messed up film.

Iza Calzado was excellent as always and the entire ensemble cast that included pure a-hole TJ Trinidad, the hilariously pretentious director Audie Gemora and the divine (wink, wink) Shamaine Buencamino was great as well. The standout though was Adrienne Vergara whose mere laugh made me giggle like crazy in my seat.

P.S. Don’t expect a traditional horror movie, especially since real life nowadays is proving to be so much scarier.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published May 10, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BHOY INTSIK (Joel Lamangan, 2017)

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It felt very much like Lamangan got really inspired after watching Pamilya Ordinaryo that he wanted to do an alternate reality set in Digong times. In this version though, Jane was killed because of Oplan Tokhang and Ertha decided to be the mother hen of Aries.

There were so many things to hate in this movie (terrible direction, messy and predictable plot, one glaring continuity error!), but there was enough of the wonderfully natural chemistry between Raymond Francisco (who in drag had an uncanny resemblance to Dra. Vicky Belo) and Ronwaldo Martin (still potty-mouthed and in full kagat-labi mode) that made it bearable.

One gay character had a gay ol’ time inside prison because “pinipilahan sya ng mga preso”. Another one said the line, “Bakla ako pero lalaki akong kausap.” How progressive!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published March 14, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BEYOND THE BLOCK (Ricky Carranza, 2017)

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An incredibly narcissistic documentary that was less about hiphop and street dancing and more about how talentedly brilliant the filmmaker was. Seriously, there were scenes where he was interviewing himself (in a silly blue top hat!) or talking directly to the camera while driving or playing basketball (anong konek?).

In between scenes of him bragging about his major contributions to the local dance scene (to be fair, his achievements were commendable) and all the countries that he had visited, we got empty platitudes about one’s passion for dance.

Not even the sight of Jojo Alejar dancing, references to LoveliNess and Vilma!, and the amazing dance routines of local dance crews would make me want to ever watch this again. Especially if most of these clips were available on YouTube.

The word “Filipino” was mentioned every sixty seconds that I overdosed on #PinoyFried and started throwing up a sun and three stars.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 14, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: LADYFISH (Jason Orfalas, 2017)

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Painfully unfunny, very much like its nth iteration of a local barangay gay beauty pageant. It didn’t feel like a complete movie at all, just some stitched-up random moments that tried really hard to create humor out of supposedly silly stuff.

I felt bad for Martin Escudero since he seemed to be forever typecast in the gay/trans role post-Zombadings. In one scene, he was required to act delighted while JC Santos peed on his face. Ick.

There was a hysterically wicked stab at Lav Diaz films and their endless nothingness. I wish there were more of that kind of smart humor here instead.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published March 14, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: KRISTO (HF Yambao, 2017)

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Why do most of our new local indie film directors want to be the next Brillante Mendoza? The cost of the ticket should have included free prescription glasses (or at least two tablets of Bonamine). Also, no Jaclyn Jose cameo?

Kristoffer King and Julio Diaz were terrific as always. But with all the cocks in the movie, it was a disappointment that none were King’s, no?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published March 14, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: TU PUG IMATUY (Arbi Barbarona, 2017)

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It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that every scene in this movie was so gorgeously shot that they could rival those in a Terrence Malick film. Even a burial scene looked bright and lovely with a grieving Lumad family in their traditional colorful garbs.

This was a tough watch considering the leisurely pacing (ironically, it had the fastest growing toge in cinematic history) and the lugubrious subject matter (actually surprised that Mocha wasn’t promoting this unapologetically anti-Dilawan movie).

Given such a serious (and oftentimes infuriating) story, I really wish the performances were much stronger so that it didn’t feel like mere torture porn.

One character was unfortunately named Dawin and I swear that freakin’ Dessert song kept playing in my head every time he was mentioned huhuhu.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published March 14, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: SIARGAO (Paul Soriano, 2017)

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Aka Drone Shot Pa More!! (or Metaphors Pa More!!)

So it’s the story of a girl who went soul-searching in Siargao because she didn’t know what flavor of popcorn she really wanted. Very millennial ang problema ni Ate Gurl.

Infer maganda ang waves.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published December 31, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: AWOL (Enzo Williams, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Forget that the movie was pro-EJK (it really wasn’t any different from a Fernando Poe, Jr. or Charles Bronson revenge flick), it was just terrible. It couldn’t even give the audience a decent showdown between the bida and kontrabida (puro batuhan lang ng putang ina).

Why did Gerald Anderson talk that way? Parang namamaga ang dila.

Mag-ingat sa lechon. Nakamamatay.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published August 21, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: 100 TULA PARA KAY STELLA (Jason Paul Laxamana, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Sabi ko hindi ako iiyak eh pero masyadong ginalingan ni JC Santos. Nasabayan ko tuloy sya sa paghagulgol nung sinabi nya na “Ikaw ang naging mundo ko.”

The love story here reminded me so much of the one that Forrest Gump and Jenny had.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 21, 2017.)