GLEE: THE 3D CONCERT MOVIE (Kevin Tancharoen, 2011)

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It was indeed a concert movie. Wish it were a documentary about the show instead.

Lea Michele belting out Don’t Rain on my Parade was always worth a watch. I would definitely reconsider her for the Wicked film adaptation.

Also, it was heartbreaking to see the late Cory Monteith having the time of his life in this concert. Sadness.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

GIVE UP TOMORROW (Michael Collins, 2011)

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This is probably the best thing I will see in cinemas this year. I’m hoping it will be able to extend its commercial run so that the rest can catch this brilliant and powerful documentary. I have never been so engrossed watching a procedural.

Although the film feels a bit lopsided (the movie acknowledged this in the end credits), it’s hard to go against all the evidences presented. Paco’s conviction further supports the kind of pathetic justice system we have in our country.

It’s truly heartbreaking especially since he comes from an affluent family. If someone in his stature still gets his basic human rights denied, what more the common Pinoy? Chilling!

Rating: 5/5

DAMSELS IN DISTRESS (Whit Stillman, 2011)

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It was trying to be a geeky version of Mean Girls and although there were some funny moments, the movie wasn’t really good as a whole.

Greta Gerwig and the rest of the girls were fine but they weren’t allowed to do more than what their stereotypical roles required.

And please don’t get me started on that dancing. There should be a rule that dancing should not be allowed at the end of movies unless it’s a dance movie, a musical, Bollywood-inspired, or a product of Regal Films.

Rating: 2/5

ANG BABAE SA SEPTIC TANK (Marlon Rivera, 2011)

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I’m surprised by all the hate and backlash that this movie received after winning the top plum in last year’s Cinemalaya.

Former admirers started complaining that it didn’t hold up well in repeat viewings. Staunch critics further lambasted the film for being shallow and reductive. Regular moviegoers either didn’t get the jokes or found it repetitive and boring.

All these made me love the movie even more. It may not be perfect but it was a brutal, fearless, and brilliant take on the current indie filmmaking scene.

Eugene Domingo was in top form (why the local award-giving bodies failed to recognize this performance remains a mystery).

Everything related to Pinoy indie poverty porn did not go unscathed. It’s simply one of the best movies of 2011.

Rating: 5/5

THE ARTIST (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

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This movie is definitely not for everyone and I understand why it’s completely polarizing viewers.

I’m not a fan of silent movies or anything prior to the ’70s so the first 10 minutes were a bit painful to me. Slowly though, I gravitated towards the movie’s sweet core and I got to understand why it was sweeping critics off their feet.

Jean Dujardin reminded me so much of Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful, only slightly less cloying. The real star of the movie though was Berenice Bejo as the aptly-named Peppy Miller whose every scene simply lit up the screen.

This movie proved that silence is indeed golden.

Rating: 4/5

ANONYMOUS (Roland Emmerich, 2011)

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This is probably the first Roland Emmerich movie that I liked without feeling guilty after. It’s a big departure from his senseless action flicks.

Imagine a retelling of Shakespeare’s story as read on Page Six and you get pulpy good fun ala Shakespeare in Love. Only as a tragedy.

The entire British cast is spectacular, especially the majestic Vanessa Redgrave.

Rating: 4/5