MOVIE REVIEW: URBAN LEGEND (Jamie Blanks, 1998)

Eto na ba ang weirdest stories na kayang maisip ng mga Amerikano? Walang-wala yan sa imagination nating mga Pinoy.

Maliban sa ahas lover ni Alice Dixson sa Robinson’s Galleria (na take note, twin ni billionaire heiress Robina Gokongwei), aliw na aliw ako nung lumabas ang kuwento na gawa sa pusa ang siopao. Sinabi pa sa akin ng pinsan ko na tingnan ko daw yung mark sa siopao kasi yun ang magsasabi kung ano ang laman niya (kapag yellow dot asado, red dot for bola-bola, at pink dot for sio-meow). Matagal din ako hindi kumain sa Hen Lin nun.

Syempre natakot din ako sa sinabi ng lola ko na wag ako lalabas kapag tanghali (tirik ang araw) kasi meron manunupot (meaning taong naglalagay ng mga bata sa supot). Yung dugo daw ng mga bata ang ginagamit pampatibay ng mga tulay tapos pinupugot ang ulo nila at isinasama sa semento. Kaya kapag dumadaan kami nun sa tulay ng Tanauan sa Batangas, napapaisip ako ilang matitigas na ulong bata na ang nakahalo dun. Buti na lang lagi ako natutulog kapag tanghali.

Pero ang pinaka-orkot moment talaga eh yung tungkol sa White Lady ng Balete Drive. Yung bigla na lang sumasakay sa likuran ng kotse kapag napadaan ka dun ng hatinggabi. Tapos nagka-movie pa na si Zsa Zsa Padilla yung white lady na biglang naging naaagnas na bangkay habang nagsasayaw. Isang buwan ata akong hindi nag-banyo ng gabi dahil sa hinayupak na pelikulang yun. Dapat siningil ko ang Seiko Films para sa UTI bill ko. Huling balita napadpad sa Concha Cruz Drive sa Parañaque yung white lady. Hindi ko rin alam bakit naisipan pa niyang pumunta sa South. Baka gustong mag-malling sa Alabang Town Center.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: 3POL TROBOL: HULI KA BALBON! (Rodel Nacianceno, 2019)

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Sorry, mahal kita Coco Martin, but you will never be Fernando Poe, Jr. Huwag mo sayangin ang husay mo sa pag-arte sa ganitong mga regressive at problematic na pelikula na dapat namatay na noong ‘90s.

Napaka-helpless ng character ni Jennylyn Mercado dito. Nung nagsusuntukan sina Coco at Sam Milby, wala siyang ginawa kundi sumigaw sa gilid ng batis ng “Tama na, tumigil ka na! Pol, mag-ingat ka Pol!” Ganito yung tipo ng mga babae na nagrereklamo sa social media na di sila pinapaupo ng mga lalaki sa MRT. Jusko itatakwil ka ng Gabriela ghorl!

Wasted opportunity na hindi kinuha si Maxine Medina pantapat sa tucked Paloma character ni Coco. Pero at least nalaman ko na fan siya ng White Chicks sa dami ng ginaya dito.

Lakas ng tawa ko nung yung isa sa mga goons hinawakan sa baba si Rowell Santiago para i-check kung buhay pa siya after ng ambush.

Lastly, natuwa ako kasi nagpunta sila sa probinsya namin na Balete, Batangas pero bakit walang punto yung mga nakatira dun. Ah ah naman paano baga nangyari iyun? Nakakaadwa naman aring si Coco baka masampiga ko ay lungangi iyan.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: LOVE YOU TO THE STARS AND BACK (Antoinette Jadaone, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Love You to the Stars and Back:

1. As a kid, I believed everything that my mother told me. I would immediately take a shower after getting drenched in the rain to avoid getting pulmonya. I would forego that extra cup of rice during dinner lest I end up dying of bangungot. I never went to bed with wet hair because I didn’t want to wake up crazy and dragged all the way to the basement of Makati Med. I was proud of my huge ears because they meant that I would live a long life. I also ate an entire roasted lizard because it was supposedly a cure for my asthma.

I wasn’t surprised at all that young Mika (Julia Barretto) swallowed up all the alien talk of her soon-to-be-departed mother (Carmina Villarroel). I mean it would be nice to believe that E.T. (yes, as in “E.T., phone home!”) would one day abduct me and bring me to the stars so I could observe EDSA traffic from above. In Mika’s own words, “Walang imposible sa mundong ito. Kelangan mo lang maniwala.”

2. So Mika decided to look for aliens in Mt. Milagros (fictional place, right?) somewhere in Batangas and the very first thing she bought as supplies were…Choco Muchos?! Please tell me this wasn’t a blatant product placement (similar to that succeeding Oppo selfie) and that she was really a junk food junkie. Also, would Sapporo now be considered the official beer of Pinoy love stories? Better luck next time Red Horse Litro.

3. Leo Martinez had always been the token Batangueño character in Pinoy cinema and his accent (read: punto) would always be played for laughs. I was happy to see a different version here represented by Caloy (Joshua Garcia, another true-blue Batangueño), but I wish he kept the accent all-throughout the film just for authenticity (sadly, the ones by the supporting cast were spotty at best).

Joshua made up for it though with such a strong performance that displayed his versatility. The John Lloyd Cruz comparisons made during Vince & Kath & James were even more obvious (and justified) here. Naiiyak ako habang pinapanood lang sya umiyak, whether he was telling the story of how his father abandoned them over a plate of tapang kalabaw, or peering through the gate while getting rejected by said dad, or calling his mom to assure her that he was okay. Nanay pa niya si Cherry Pie Picache so wag na umasang di ka maiyak.

(I think the only weakness of Joshua would be his fake laugh because, well, it felt fake. Bawi naman sa pa-karug. Har har.)

4. I loved how the characters here bonded over the grossest things, making them more human and their relationship more relatable. Their meet cute moment actually involved pooping and pissing in a talahiban (another mother’s advice: always say ‘tabi tabi po’ to prevent the wrath of a nuno) and since a significant part of the movie had them inside a car, I was happy when somebody actually farted (with a round of finger-pointing after, of course!).

5. Wait, so Caloy was sick and he decided that the best way to go from Lemery to Calaca (this would be like going from Southmall to MOA ba?) was on a bike?

6. The manong manok character was definitely me to millennials: “Ang babata n’yo pa, ang lalandi n’yo na!”

Mika was able to provide a good defense though: “Bakit kung uso na ang cellphone nung EDSA Revolution, hindi rin ba kayo mag-selfie?!” Touché!

(Another Titas of Manila moment: my brain kept screaming “Eyes on the road!” while they kept making landi in a moving vehicle. Ay josko ka!)

7. Goldie, their pet chicken, was left in the car while they ate lunch. Buti hindi naging Chickenjoy pagbalik nila.

8. I was never really fond of Julia because of her rumored kaartehan and perceived brattiness (I read a lot of FashionPulis, sorry!), but she definitely proved her mettle here. Not only did she look and sound very much like her Aunt Claudine, she actually acted the exact same way.

I especially liked her in that bridge scene where all of her emotions just felt raw and natural. Any lesser actress would have disappeared amidst the powerful presence of Joshua. She also had this really cute (albeit bittersweet) scene with Mika imagining that Caloy was still in the passenger seat. All it needed was her playfully saying, “Mukha kang chewing gum na masarap nguyain.”

9. Although it had elements similar to The Fault in our Stars (and even Your Name), the film overall was still distinctly Jadaone. Iba pa rin ang magic niya kapag usapang pag-ibig. She always knew the right blend of kilig and drama.

I really liked how this was able to differentiate itself from TFIOS by showing the ugly side of cancer. It would be hard to forget that heartbreaking scene with Caloy all covered in his own puke and blood, trying to pretend that nothing was wrong with him. Also, it had one of the most unromantic (pero damang-dama pa rin) declarations of love in cinema. Move over, Ansel and Shailene!

10. “Walang sigurado pero minsan kelangan mo lang maniwala.” I now believe in you, JoshLia. Elyen!!

Rating: ★★★★☆

MOVIE REVIEW: MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY (Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2010)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Miss You Like Crazy:

1. In our province of Batangas back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, we had not been introduced yet to a loofah so we would use these pumice rocks (also known as panghilod) while bathing (usually in a batis) to scrape off all the dirt and grime from our skins.

They were all I could think of whenever Mia (Bea Alonzo) would leave signed copies of panghilod basically everywhere. More than sayang, I felt really bad imagining such a lovely girl all covered with so much libag.

(Tita Tip of the Day: Forget all the exfoliants in Lush. Grab a rock from your garden, use it in the shower, and wash all of your problems away.)

2. John Lloyd Cruz (as Alan) still wore these long and baggy pants in the movie so this was obviously during his pre-Liz Uy days.

Now his trousers all look so tight like he doesn’t want to have kids and they’re always cropped at least two inches above the ankle (read: bitin and/or baston) like he’s auditioning for the role of Bilbo Baggins in a local version of the Lord of the Rings.

(Yes, inggit lang ako kasi hindi ako fashyown.)

3. This love story relied too much on serendipity. It was the kind of movie where two random vehicles would end up next to each other in traffic because the fated lovers were meant to have a Tutuban Mall date (sorry, it was done much better in Minsan, Minahal Kita).

Years later, they would bump into each other in a hotel in Malaysia because, well, destiny.

Seriously, Lolo Uly (Noel Trinidad) and his magical prediction essentially told the entire plot during the movie’s 30-minute mark. The remaining one and a half hours was completely unnecessary (and very bagot because the movie actually felt like three hours).

4. Since this was a Cathy Garcia-Molina flick, somebody had to wear her trademark wigs. Poor Maricar Reyes (as Alan’s girlfriend Daphne) had to sport a hairstyle that was a cross between a mullet and a pixie cut and made her look like she just recovered from a heavy bout of typhoid fever.

Also, why was she portrayed as a villain just because she didn’t find the idea of a Pasig River cruise romantic? Anak ng Pasig naman ang pagiging anti-elitista dito.

Even worse, in a succeeding scene where Alan explained to Mia that Divisoria briefs were not good fixed assets (pati underwear investment na din?), he was just giving sound advice. Why the double standard? Pfft!!

5. “Alan ba talaga ang pangalan mo? Bakit ka lingon nang lingon sa August?”

Dear, whenever somebody shouts a name (any name for that matter) in a crowded place, expect people to look. I’m sure everyone would be curious to know who that crazy screaming woman was.

6. So Alan’s fridge was stocked with microwave-ready food like filet mignon, garlic mashed potatoes, cordon bleu, fettucine alfredo, and chicken rosemary, but he chose to eat…Greenwich pizza, of course!!

7. Sex on the stairs. Ang sakit siguro sa likod nun. I wasn’t surprised that Mia was crying after Alan climaxed twenty seconds later.

8. Paco Park should get secondary billing in future Star Cinema movies as the ultimate love destination (also seen in Starting Over Again, Barcelona, and even Dolce Amore). Still single? You know where to go.

9. Maswerte yung Malaysian version ni Paolo Bediones ha. Nakarami ng halik kay Bea infer.

10. In one scene, Mia had this huge stain on the vajayjay area of her dress so it looked like she peed herself. In another scene, Ryan Eigenmann’s entire forehead looked sunburnt.

Poor production values or were they also destined to be that way?

11. “Fate only gives us one chance to get it right.”

Hindi totoo yan dahil may sequel pa nga ang One More Chance.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆