CINCO (Frasco Mortiz, Enrico Santos, Ato Bautista, Nick Olanka, Cathy Garcia-Molina, 2010)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Anthology of five horror shorts kyemerut. Parang pa-bibong Shake, Rattle, Roll with its two additional stories pero hindi naman nakadagdag sa scare factor.

BRASO (Frasco Mortiz) – ★☆☆☆☆

Tungkol sa baklang braso na nag-break free sa pagiging closeta at dinakma ang yagbols ni AJ Perez (RIP).

PAA (Enrico Santos) – ★★★☆☆

Tungkol sa isang nanay (Jodi Sta. Maria in full batas ng isang api mode) na hindi marunong magpagpag kaya sinundan ng multo ng batang ninakawan niya ng sapatos.

MATA (Ato Bautista) – ★★☆☆☆

Tungkol sa isang babaeng (Maja Salvador) trapped in a Groundhog Day nightmare kung saan jowa niya lagi si Rayver Cruz. Saklap.

MUKHA (Nick Olanka) – ★★☆☆☆

Tungkol sa bitch from hell na boss (Mariel Rodriguez channeling Kimmy Go Dong Hae) na ginamit ang mukha ng kawawang office janitor to test their new photocopying machine. Naghiganti tuloy ang kaluluwa nito na galit sa mga DDS tulad ng asawa ni boss na si Robin Padilla.

PUSO (Cathy Garcia-Molina) – ★★☆☆☆

Tungkol sa isang chakang perya performer (Pokwang) na desperadong magka-lovelife at sa kasamaang-palad ay zombie ang nagayuma. Hindi na rin masama kasi mas mukha pang mabango ang naaagnas na si Zanjoe Marudo kesa sa mga People You May Know ng Facebook.

Saan banda ako dapat matakot?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

THE MALL, THE MERRIER (Barry Gonzalez, 2019)

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Siguro ang pinakamagandang masasabi ko dito ay hindi siya kasing-chaka ng value ng pamilya. Kaso natabunan ng sobrang ka-cornyhan.

Dalawang beses lang ata ako natawa (at pareho kay Anne Curtis). Mas masaya pa manood ng memes at viral videos sa Facebook. Walang bago at all. Kaya may TB pa rin dito si Susan Africa.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

ZOMBIELAND (Ruben Fleischer, 2009)

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My favorite scene (aside from everything with Bill Murray in it) was when Jesse Eisenberg said that the best thing about Zombieland was that “There are no Facebook status updates”, and then a year later he played Mark Zuckerberg on The Social Network.

Rating: ★★★★☆

30 DAYS OF NIGHT (David Slade, 2007)

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You’re a certified Batang 90’s if you still remember that infamous Three Days of Darkness hoax that seemed like a clever collaborative marketing ploy for supermarkets, candlemakers, and Eveready. This was way before Google and Facebook fact-checks so if Noli de Castro reports on TV Patrol that we needed to cover up/tint our windows and never go out of our homes for the said deadly days, we had to believe and follow him, right?

After the massive panic-buying and constant praying (and the urge not to look out while Jesus supposedly walked the earth), it didn’t happen. One would think that people would be less gullible now in this information age, but not much has changed.

What did this have to do with the movie? Nothing really. It was just a more interesting story to tell.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

#JOWABLE (Darryl Yap, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Minsan natatawa na lang ako kapag nakakabasa ng viral post sa Facebook na “10 Realizations After Watching (Name of Buzzworthy Movie)”. Usually kasi napaka-basic ng mga thoughts na nakalista kaya napapaisip ako kung sadyang na-realize lang ba niya talaga ang mga yun after mapanood ang pelikula o isinali na lang lahat ng maisip na hugot na pwedeng i-relate para mag-trend. Very similar sa mga yun ang feeling ko dito na parang Spoken Word Poetry Presents Hugot: The Movie. Like, totoo gurl ngayon mo lang nalaman na mas importante ang pagmamahal ng nanay at mga kaibigan mo kesa sa search for a jowa?

Hindi ako magugulat kung maging box office hit ito kasi sikat talaga online ang source material (pati ang ibang polarizing short films made by the same group). Admittedly, I liked some (parts) of the shorts kasi nakakatawa naman talaga. Bearable ang specific jump cuts style at linyahan niya na puno ng hugot at sigawan. Unfortunately, what worked on a free platform didn’t translate well sa big screen na may kasamang ticket price of Php240. Parang mas mahirap tumawa kapag may bayad na yung recycled material na napanood mo na sa Facebook. Kung tutuusin, even yung majority of the film’s highlights andun na din sa trailer (halos lahat ng scenes dun were just extended to around 10-15 minutes pero wala masyadong added humor).

Sayang kasi ang galing talaga dito ni Kim Molina na super committed sa role, lalo na dun sa scenes that didn’t require her to overact. Nung nasa chapel siya na nagmamakaawa for a jowa, mas naramdaman ko gaano siya ka-desperate to feel loved nung huminahon na siya habang sinasabi ang linyang “Bigyan mo naman ako ng isang taong magmamahal sa akin, Lord”. (Of course, undeniable naman na mahusay din siya kumanta. Fave ko pa rin yung biglang birit niya ng chorus ng Narito Ako sa Bossaboss short.)

Sana lang talaga mas sympathetic ang character niya na si Elsa Mangahas. Jowable daw siya at nasa kanya “lahat ng ginugusto ng mga lalaki sa mundo” pero nuknukan naman ang sama ng ugali niya kasi tinawag niyang mukhang kulubot na bayag at bilog at mukhang bola ang mga kaibigan niya. Minura niya ang isang tindera kasi binentahan siya ng couple shirt tapos alcoholic pa siya na may dalang thermos ng Red Horse at araw-araw nagpapakalasing kahit kasama ang isang bus ng mga bata. Ang idea niya ng perfect girlfriend eh yung magsisilbi ng pulutan sa jowa niya na naglalaro ng DOTA. Tapos blatantly racist pa siya na di makilala ang Indian (also ang daming putok jokes dito) na naka-one night stand kasi lahat naman sila naka-turban. Sorry girl pero baka hindi mo deserve ang wish mo na “madurog ang mani”.

But wait, I haven’t even discussed the other problematic parts tulad nung pagsampal sa kanya ni “Bumbay” during sex na supposedly comedic. Or yung attempted suicide na mined for laughs (di ko din maintindihan ang logic ng nanay niya dito na si Kakai Bautista na pinakamamahal daw nya ang anak nya pero uminom ng sandamakmak na vitamins matapos iwan ng jowa; also, kaya daw niya mahal na mahal anak niya eh kasi yun ang mag-aalaga sa kanya pagtanda niya luh!). Or yung scenes na kelangan laging nakabukaka si Kim or labas ang panty or basta naghubad na lang yung mga kasamahan niya down to their bras (bakit??).

(Side note: Yung pa-apology ba sa teachers eh dahil sa flak na natanggap ng filmmakers dun sa isa nilang short? Nasaan naman yung para sa child rape victims?)

Anyway, kung bibigyan nyo lang din ako ng luma at corny jokes (I’m sure narinig na ng lahat yung sa nag-wish tapos nadulas kaya naging mukhang kike) eh di sana inilabas nyo na lang ng libre sa FB. Hindi naman pwedeng basta mag-viral lang eh gagawan na ng pelikula. What’s next, Mimiyuuuh the Movie (Drink Your Water Bish)?

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

JOHN DENVER TRENDING (Arden Rod Condez, 2019)

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NOON: Nag-post ng suicide prevention hotline at nandiyan daw para dumamay sa mga kaibigan na depressed at kelangan ng kausap.

NOON: Woke feminist na galit kapag may nasasabing masama sa kababaihan.

NOON: Galit na galit sa batang nanuntok ng kaklase. Masama raw ang bullying. Hindi dapat nananakit ng kapwa lalo na ang mga walang kalaban-laban.

NGAYON: Naglabas ng isang 1,000-word essay sa Facebook at pa-witty tweets sa Twitter kung paano maging isang busilak na tao at gumamit ng inane at poorly-worded language tulad ng “slut”, “ahas”, at “ang kapal ng mukha at pekpek mo gurl ikaw na ang nang-agaw ikaw pa ang nagmamaganda pakamatay ka na boba!”.

We (oo, lahat tayo guilty dito) are a nation of hypocrites.

(At dahil ang post na ito ay prime example ng toxic call-out culture, does that make it meta or just ironic?)

Rating: ★★★★★

THE GREAT HACK (Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim, 2019)

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So the internet gods are listening in on my private conversations with friends? That the microphones and cameras on my laptop and smartphone are picking up details that create my data profile for social media sites to accurately predict my behaviour and interests? It wasn’t merely a coincidence that after I mentioned a planned trip to Tokyo next year, my Facebook feed immediately got bombarded by sponsored Klook ads offering discounted tour packages? Oh, please!! We all signed up for this. We can’t make our lives public on the worldwide web and then fear that strangers know way too much about us, right? It’s time to admit that we’re basically living in a supersized Black Mirror episode.

Although this documentary didn’t contain a lot of new information (especially if one had been following all the discussions related to Brexit, the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, and Facebook-gate), I was still fascinated by the thought that these so-called villains preyed on the “persuadables” and successfully swayed them to their desired results. Will that stop me from taking the next “Which Sex and the City character are you” quiz? My Miranda side is screaming “DON’T!!”, but I’m sure my gullible Charlotte side wins in the end.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE (Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale, 2013)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie:

1. I feel like I’m reading a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica dedicated to dinosaurs with the movie pausing to explain each dino name.

2. This is the kind of movie you watch in class where you start zoning out, thinking of how to complete the materias in Final Fantasy VII.

3. I didn’t know dinosaurs communicated via mental telepathy. They keep talking but their mouths aren’t moving. I’m getting confused.

4. I just spent P220 to read Facebook and Twitter updates. Such a waste.

5. I therefore conclude that dinosaurs became extinct because they bored themselves to death.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published January 14, 2014.)

NAKALIMUTAN KO NANG KALIMUTAN KA (Fifth Solomon, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Nakalimutan Ko Nang Kalimutan Ka:

1. Whoever said that forgiveness was the hardest part of a breakup probably never lost thirty pounds and developed gastritis from crying all night and skipping meals for an entire month. No, forgiveness was relatively easy because it would usually come after the acceptance phase. The real challenge for anybody mending a broken heart would be trying to forget those damned (happy) memories where every littlest thing meant something and always re-opened the floodgates of pain and hurt.

Where even a tiny flying ipis would remind you of the happy and fun times you had with your ex and without realizing it, you’d miss the person again and start questioning what you did wrong and why your love story never worked out the way it should and if you could have done better as a partner even if in reality it was the hinayupak’s fault but you still love the person and that was still your hinayupak and huhuhu another thirty pounds lost after a month.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just easily wipe our memories clean very much like clearing our browser history after visiting PornHub?

2. In this lowest form of a Pinoy hugot movie (I swear it was one hundred minutes of hugot lines, hugot jokes, and hugot poems), Jaz (a game Alex Gonzaga) decided to literally change her heart to get over her ex-fiancé Migs (Vin Abrenica, an Abrenica who could act!). Not really sure how a heart replacement surgery in an abandoned warehouse called NSKTN Klinika (Room 143, of course!) could make her forget but at least it wouldn’t be too obvious that it was a complete rip-off of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Hmm, Walang Hanggang Sikat ng Araw ng Walang Bahid na Isip (thanks Google Translate!) actually sounded ripe for a spoken word poetry session.

3. This probably would have been forgivable if it was at least funny, but it was just a series of repetitive and corny jokes. In one scene, Jaz was applying for a job and when her interviewer (Ricci Chan) asked her to tell something about herself, her groan-worthy reply was “Di ko na nga alam eh. Di ko na alam kung sino ako magmula nung iniwan niya ako.” And when he followed it up with “Tell me your weaknesses”, she answered back with “Siya. Siya ang weakness ko.” I couldn’t believe I actually paid good money for this when the same brand of humor was available online for free on the VinCentiments Facebook page.

4. I actually felt bad that Alex wasn’t asked to do much except bawl her eyes out whenever she would hear the song Let Me Be the One (the “H”-filled version, “Shomebodehh told meh yhou were leavuhhhrnn…”). You’d be better off rewatching her amusing vlogs instead (especially the ones with newest Internet Sensation Mommy Pinty).

Sayang because Alex did have some nice chemistry with Vin. It probably helped that he was more than just a walking six-pack. I knew he could act (and sing!) ever since his Artista Academy days.

5. Not surprised with the abundant Nagaraya and Happy Cup product placements. But FrontRow?

6. In one scene, a depressed Jaz was shown in full baliw mode celebrating an anniversary with a teddy bear after suffering from UTI (Umibig Tapos Iniwan). It was played for laughs but that moment actually made me sad thinking of the craziest things that people had done while nursing a heartache. Pro tip: Never ever use muriatic acid as a chaser for your Empi Light.

7. More gasgas hugot moments:

• Kung bagay ka, ano ka? – Sana piso kasi ang piso kapag nalaglag, dinadampot. Samantala ako nahulog na, di pa sinalo.

• Kung pipili ka ng lugar, san mo gusto? – Sa sementeryo para ibaon ko na feelings ko sa kanya.

• Kung mahihiram mo ang time machine ni Doraemon, anong babalikan mo? – Babalikan ko siya kasi sa kanya lang naman ako masaya.

Grabe bakit di na lang ‘to ginawang hugot quote book?

And if that wasn’t bad enough, they even included two lengthy spoken word poetry scenes. One had an animated Juan Miguel Severo talking about a pillow soaked in tears. I think it was meant to be poignant, but all it made me feel was head over to the nearest Tempur.

(Side note: The end credits mentioned that Antoinette Jadaone served as a script consultant for this movie. Seriously??)

Kakalimutan ko na lang na pinanood ko pa ‘to. Now where’s that damn clinic to help me forget?

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆