MOVIE REVIEW: WILD AND FREE (Connie Macatuno, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Wild and Free:

1. Umpisa pa lang hindi ko na mapigilan ang lakas ng tawa ko. Ang eksena kasi nasa loob ng sasakyan ang ex-lovers na sina Jake (Derrick Monasterio, whose performance was as stiff as an erection) at Ellie (Sanya Lopez) tapos more reminiscing sila about their past.

Kaso napaka-obvious na may nagtutulak sa gilid ng kotse para kunwari tumatakbo siya. Yung mapapaisip ka bakit sa exterior overhead shots eh ang smooth ng road na dinadaanan nila pero sa interior shots eh para silang nalulubak every two seconds.

2. Anyway, mukhang bagay naman ang ugali ng characters nila. Si ate gurl yung tipong napakaingay kapag ngumunguya. Yung parang pang-porn or mga nakakairitang ASMR vids sa lakas.

Tapos si koya (aka “Mr. Laway”) naman nakabukas ang bibig mag-chew ng White Rabbit. Feeling sexy ang kumag na kahit nalaglag na ang candy galing sa bibig niya, sinubo niya ulit kasi wala pa naman daw ten seconds. Gusto ko sila regaluhan ng GMRC for Christmas.

3. So apparently si Ellie ay ex-girlfriend din ng older brother ni Jake. Nung big reveal scene, nalaman nung nanay (Cheska Diaz, stuck in 90’s overacting mode) na natuhog ni ate gurl ang panganay (who’s dead btw) at bunso niya pero deadma lang kasi mas importante ang 80th birthday ng lola nila. Saang planeta nagaganap ang alternate reality na ito?

4. Sample words of wisdom ni Ellie: “Eh ano naman kung rebound? Diba nga sa basketball yun ang dapat na hindi pinapakawalan?“.

Ganyan ang reasoning niya kasi mas masarap naman daw si Jake kesa sa kuya nito (did I mention that he’s already dead??).

Huy gurl, technical foul ka!!

5. And the much-hyped erotic scenes? Ano ba eh nag-pump nga until climax si Jake na hindi man lang naghuhubad ng pantalon niya. Tapos dun sa isang sex scene naisipan ni Ellie na mag-multitask so ni-on niya ang washing machine habang sinisibasib siya sa ibabaw nito para nga naman tapos na ang labada niya after nila makaraos. Oh diba, ibang level ng hitting two birds (wink, wink) yan.

(Side note: Maraming salamat Netflix at ang laki ng natitipid ko sa’yo, although sobrang lugi pa rin ng feeling ko.)

6. Halos lahat problematic sa pelikulang ito (kung saan macho at admirable ang chauvinism ng mga lalaki habang boba at subservient ang role ng mga babae).

I haven’t even touched on the couple’s very toxic relationship. Hindi naman sila mukhang in love talaga. Sex lang ang reason ng connection nila. Tapos puro irrational hallucinations si Jake kahit di naman siya sabog. Mabilis din na-resolve ang conflicts nila at nakalimutan na may sexual assault na naganap para lang sa requisite happy ending. How romantic!!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: MIDSOMMAR (Ari Aster, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Midsommar:

1. Let me preface this by stating that I would never recommend this film to just about anyone. My high rating wasn’t really a reflection of its overall quality. Rather, it spoke more about the perverse pleasure that I had watching old people’s faces smashed to smithereens or the silly thought that a horny teenage girl used her pubic hair trimmings as a vital ingredient to a love elixir (or better put, organic gayuma that would put all those Quiapo-made ones to shame).

Pretty sure a good number of you might find this misadvertised (?) horror movie reaaaaally slow and excruciatingly boring (even worse, lacking a decent payoff). I should know, I felt the exact same grief with Ari Aster’s feature length debut film Hereditary and its snail-paced two hours (plus knockoff Paranormal Activity 3 ending). You had been properly warned.

2. I mentioned before that Get Out gave me that creepy Shake, Rattle & Roll II: Aswang vibe where Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris resembled the offering of the month Portia, played by local horror princess Manilyn Reynes. Well this one took it to a whole new level by increasing the number of Portias and cranking up the overall weirdness (and this coming from someone who had seen both versions of Wicker Man).

I had never been this scared of villagers wearing all-white outfits (imagine the boxes of Tide that they consumed!!) and faint, chanting sounds that would never be part of my ASMR nightly playlist. Because of this movie, Sweden definitely dropped to the bottom of my travel checklist, just a little above Slovakia (no thanks to you Hostel!!).

3. There were several moments here that required suspension of disbelief because nobody in their right minds would see a body freefall from a cliff and not run as far away as possible from that crime scene (no, not even if one would win a Pulitzer for Anthropology by writing about that cultish ritual). And who wouldn’t question the type of meat pies that were being served to them, especially one that had a golden pube? (This reminded me again of another Manilyn classic, the Zombies episode of Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang where they got served a special soup filled with hair, nails, and ultimately “MATAAAAAA!!”).

Why didn’t these people ever feel the need to… wait for it, get out?!

4. Still, the most disturbing bits for me were the ones where Dani Gurl (Florence Pugh) suffered from panic attacks caused by the trauma of her bipolar sister killing their entire family (the sight of the sister with that exhaust tube taped around her mouth was the stuff of nightmares).

One of my favorite scenes was this smooth transition of Dani exiting the living room and ending up hyperventilating in the plane’s lavatory (my other favorite was that disorienting upside down shot of the car traversing the country road, reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead).

Pugh’s a terrific actress and effortlessly made me feel the pain that she was going through. Seriously, I needed some high-grade Ativan as well to calm me down after her breakdowns. 

(Although I did find it weird that Dani experienced a lot of grisly stuff yet only threw up when she witnessed her “cheating” boyfriend. Iba talaga ang effect ng pag-ibig.)

5. Happy to see The Good Place’s Chidi (William Jackson Harper) playing a variation of his geeky TV persona on the big screen. Wait, he wasn’t too smart in this one pala considering where his character (and leg) ended up.

6. When one of the elders used the tambyolo to pick out the village’s other 90-year offering, was it a direct reference to Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery?

7. Moral of the story: Always treat your partner right or you might end up drugged inside a hollowed-out bear while burning in a cult’s yellow temple. You had been warned, Gerald Anderson.

Rating: ★★★★☆