ENTENG NG INA MO (Tony Reyes, 2011)

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Better than what I expected. Given that, it was still a corny piece of entertainment that might have worked better as two separate films.

Eugene Domingo stole the movie (as always) and you’d wish it was Enteng ng Ina Mo, Rowena instead.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published January 1, 2012.)

SCHOOL SERVICE (Louie Ignacio, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Two hours of watching the poor suffer without really learning anything about their lives (most of their stories were just mentioned in passing and never touched on again). How could we sympathize with these fleeting characters when they were no different from any random street children that we encounter every day begging for alms?

I would always prefer Ai-Ai delas Alas in a dramatic role. Parang ang dami niyang hinanakit sa mundo kaya nakakaawa whenever she would break down bigla. Here, she was like a depressed version of Ina Montecillo. In one brilliant scene, she was exposed by another woman for being a fraud on a wheelchair and when she stood up and gave the other a huge slap, I actually cheered for her even if I shouldn’t have. Ang galing niya lang kasi kahit nasa mali ang character niya. Ramdam mo ang galit.

Maybe I would have liked this more if the young kids (except for Therese Malvar, who’s good in anything) sounded more authentic and not like they were part of a speech contest for Buwan ng Wika.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 8, 2018.)

RONDA (Nick Olanka, 2014)

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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.)