LIWAY (Kip Oebanda, 2018)

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The power of storytelling. I need more time to process my thoughts. Grabe grabe grabe.

Also, hello future Urian Best Actress Glaiza de Castro! Grabe grabe grabe.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published August 10, 2018.)

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PANDANGGO SA HUKAY (Sheryl Rose Andes, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Naawa lang ako kay Iza Calzado dito. Sobrang committed niya sa role kahit biglang pinag-shinger siya habang pinapanood si Bembol Roco (may fetish si Elena sa kalbo?) pagkatapos ginawang joke time ang rape niya.

Ganda na nung simula na parang a day in the life of a midwife tapos biglang nagkalat sa second half na may kidnapping arc ng Etibak Gang. As in super kalat. Yung mapapaisip ka paano nanalo ng Palanca award ang screenplay eh nothing really made sense sa pinaggagawa ng mga characters.

Gusto pa ata ng pelikula na maging dark comedy sa dulo kasi may eksena na naka-handcuff si Elena sa pintuan ng ref tapos binabaril siya ng mga kidnappers habang umiiwas sa mga bala na parang nagsasayaw. Akala ko nga papasok ang music, ipapatong niya sa ulo ang natanggal na pinto, tapos magsasayaw siya ng pandanggo.

You really can’t spell Etibak Gang without ebak. (Kung di ko lang talaga mahal ‘tong si Iza…)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

F#*@BOIS (Eduardo Roy, Jr., 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Frontrow and center ang fearless performance dito ni Ricky Davao. Wala akong maisip na ibang veteran actor na kayang buong tapang na dila-dilaan at isubo ang paa ng ibang tao (juskopo, sana naman nagpa-foot spa muna si Fuccboi #1 bago gawin ang eksena). Nangangamoy grand slam siya ngayong taon ha.

If you’ve seen Pamilya Ordinaryo or Quick Change, hindi ka na maninibago sa takbo at style ng pelikulang ito. Yung todo sa stress levels tapos wala ka naman magawa kundi manood at ma-stress pa lalo. Tapos hindi ka bibigyan ng malinis na resolution kaya gusto mo na lang umuwi at mag-shower agad agad.

Nagustuhan ko na ipinakita dito ang mundo nina Ace (Royce Cabrera) at Mico (Kokoy de Santos, a revelation) bilang mga sex workers slash konteseros. Ramdam yung desperation na kumita ng pera habang rumarampa na halos labas ang kaluluwa maliban sa tube sock na nakapasok sa kanilang bikini.

(Side note: Hindi ko alam kung intentional pero ang ganda na yung pattern ng dugo sa likod ni Ace pagkatapos ng saksakan ay parang parte ng design sa national costume niya nung bikini open.)

Sana lang mas naging invested pa ako sa characters nila. Hindi kasi umabot sa point na halos mabaliw na ako kakaisip kung nasaan si Baby Arjan. Siguro rin kasi may negative perception agad talaga sa mga fuccbois. Kasalanan na naman ‘to ni Gerald.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

MERCURY IS MINE (Jason Paul Laxamana, 2016)

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An enjoyably weird ride that unfortunately went off the rails in its final twenty minutes.

I loved the screenplay because it didn’t try too hard to be funny. It also hit the jackpot with Pokwang who was truly phenomenal here.

Bret Jackson finally gave a decent performance. He had an easygoing charm that suited the role and (please don’t scoff) actually reminded me of a manic Leonardo DiCaprio.

Overall, this was a definite crowd-pleaser and I wouldn’t be surprised if it snagged the Audience Choice award.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 9, 2016.)

ANG PAMILYANG HINDI LUMULUHA (Mes de Guzman, 2017)

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One long and badly-edited sitcom. It would have been more bearable if most of the jokes (in the vein of Dolphy and Babalu circa 90s) were actually funny, except that they weren’t. I had more laughs watching The Lilian Velez Story.

Sharon Cuneta’s dramatic breakdown scene during the latter part of the movie reeked so much of desperation. She hopelessly attempted to out-uhog Viola Davis for that coveted Balanghai.

Even worse, people would most likely remember Moi Bien’s performance.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 9, 2017.)

BAGAHE (Zig Dulay, 2017)

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Angeli Bayani for all the awards!! She was just so good that it felt like I was watching (and personally knew) Mercy the entire time.

I really liked how the first half made the audience go through the entire investigation process. I felt embarrassed and violated and I almost fainted when she had that actual (?) blood test.

The second half felt a bit aimless and too on the nose with its constant explanations (at least now I know the adoption guidelines for an abandoned baby). It was unfortunate that it didn’t know when and how to end the movie.

Also, that ensemble with some of the most amazing character actors in Philippine cinema! Wow!!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published August 9, 2017.)