BUYBUST (Erik Matti, 2018)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

So in the end, the movie basically mocked the “Nanlaban” defense and yet served it as a source of entertainment where the PDEA had every reason to kill the poor because majority of them were addicts and/or drug protectors? I didn’t get this contradiction.

I love my BFF Anne, but she was terribly miscast in this role. In one scene, she shrieked “Gooooo!” like she was storming a meet and greet with Gong Yoo. She just lacked the grit (angas?) needed by her character and it was even more blatant whenever a cornrowed Mara Lopez (in the Michelle Rodriguez role) was onscreen. Siya ang totoong astig.

Commendable production values (the one take fight scene and the final rooftop shot were good), but I just couldn’t get over the neon-lit slums. Magkano kaya Meralco bill nila?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 3, 2018.)

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TRIP UBUSAN: THE LOLAS VS ZOMBIES (Mark Reyes, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

To say that this was inspired by Train to Busan would be an understatement since it directly lifted several key scenes (and characters) from that Korean sleeper hit. In this Kalyeserye version though, Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) played the role of Gong Yoo (shoray ni lola!), also bitten by a zombie in the end before she jumped (was pushed?) off a moving speedboat. (Don’t worry, the saltwater magically cured her for the requisite happy ending.)

We rarely get local zombie movies (either we’re not technologically advanced to accidentally unleash a new virus strain or our bodies were just auto-immuned from all the pollution and dirt in our country) so I was a bit excited to watch this one. Unfortunately, it relied too much on slapstick humor that it ended up without a sense of danger or threat on any of the characters all throughout.

In one scene, the ragtag group (mostly Eat Bulaga alums) just happened to pass by a welding shop and it took a miraculous two-minute montage for them to fortify their bus. In another, the barbed wire separating the humans from the zombies was (questionably) raised so that Angelika dela Cruz could easily run to her zombie husband for a dramatic reconciliation.

Nothing here really made sense. Which would have been fine if at least the gags were funny. The three lolas pulled all the weight and the drop in energy was noticeable whenever they were offscreen. I would love to see them next in a family drama. Mukhang magaling magpaiyak ang JoWaPao. Until then, we’d have to be contented with this zombie movie where the undead extras try their best to avoid a rampaging bus.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆