SILLY RED SHOES (James Mayo, 2019)

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Huy bakit ang lakas magpakilig ng KyCine? Sobrang cute nila together at plus point pa na marunong sila pareho umarte. Nadagdagan na naman ang mga paborito kong love teams. Given the right break, sure ako todo sikat ang dalawang batang ‘to.

Nagustuhan ko yung pagkahabi ng fantasy element dun sa main daddy issues storyline. Feeling ko nga with a few tweaks ay maganda siya na full-length feature. (Or siguro it was easier for me to overlook the flaws din kasi free sa iWant?) Still, na-enjoy ko talaga siya.

Ang galing pa ng supporting cast with Herbert Bautista (potential comeback soon?), the always dependable Anna Luna, and the biggest surprise here Karen Reyes (ghorl mahusay ka pala sa iyakan?).

Ganda nung confrontation scene with all five characters in the frame. At yung signature (?) lakad-lakad sequence ng director na nagpaalala sa ‘kin nung impressive breaking the fourth wall scene sa Kuya Wes.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

TAYO MUNA HABANG HINDI PA TAYO (Denise O’Hara, 2019)

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Like a bad Antoinette Jadaone romance flick. Yung dapat nasa iWant na lang siya.

Kulang na kulang ang authenticity ng situations at performances.

Halos nakasimangot lang ako the whole time kahit di naman ako bitter sa pag-ibig (well, except nung akting na akting yung ex ni JC Santos dito nakakaloka ka girl mygahd!).

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

HELLCOME HOME (Bobby Bonifacio, 2019)

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Naisip ko talaga it can’t get any worse than Hospicio, but here we are.

I’ve always wanted a film version of American Horror Story: Murder House so thank you Star Cinema and iWant (where this movie was actually better suited) chz.

Since horror movie siya, may bigla na lang sumisigaw every five minutes kahit nakakita lang ng kambing.

Kapag walang sumisigaw, meron naman bumubulong. I’m surprised hindi nila kinuhang sponsor ang Resorts World Manila.

Mas bagay siya na comedy bilang ang isang character ang pangalan ay Baby Starr.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

#Y (Gino Santos, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on #Y:

1. We do not live in a Star Cinema world where all conflicts get magically resolved for the requisite happy ending. In our reality, mental health problems exist without an absolute cure. In our reality, people think that “clinical depression with mild bipolar and schizophrenic tendencies” is just a fancy-schmancy condition conjured by quack doctors to explain the loneliness felt by millennials. In our reality, people with suicidal tendencies get crucified for being selfish and for not having Jesus in their lives.

And so I was incredibly furious upon realizing that the nihilistic version of this film (that I really liked) during its Cinemalaya run was turned into a positive, life-affirming, family-friendly fluff in its theatrical cut (that I recently rewatched on iWant). Why, Star Cinema, why??

2. The film started with Miles (Elmo Magalona and his perpetually glazed eyes) standing on a building’s rooftop and contemplating suicide. He described in detail his past encounters with death before proclaiming that life was a prison that needed an escape and then he… whipped out his phone to record his goodbye message. Kids nowadays, right?

One of the things I admired about Gino Santos’ early works (this and his breakthrough debut The Animals) was that he had a clear grasp of his subjects. He (lovingly/viciously) presented the duality of the social media generation as vapid and careless and self-absorbed (one character slashed her wrist using a cut-up Platinum credit card) while being independent and liberal and carefree. All the partying, drug use, and casual sex depicted here would definitely make the old ladies clutch on to their pearl necklaces, but hey, that was this Gen-Y’s (unapologetic) reality.

3. Whenever Miles would smile and assure his friends that he was okay even if he clearly wasn’t, I really felt that. I’ve always had moments when I also needed a stranger like Abbie (Chynna Ortaleza and her spot-on call center accent) to calm my nerves and bring me back to my senses. Somebody who didn’t know you enough to judge you or question why you still weren’t happy even if it felt like you had everything you needed in your life. The fact that it was never really explained why Miles wanted to end his life spoke so much about his debilitating condition.

I just hope Abbie didn’t reflect the current status of our local lifeline centers. It was sad and frustrating to hear her touch on spirituality and even guilt-trip her caller into backing out of suicide (“Isipin mo ang mga maiwan mo na tao, hindi nila deserve yun”). The fact that she was consoling other people while suffering from her own grief was doubly heartbreaking, though.

4. The good-looking, real-life conyo kids that played Miles’ friends definitely fit their respective roles. My favorite was easily Coleen Garcia as the school slut (her words, not mine) Janna. That entire bit about a lover licking her ears that hadn’t been cleaned for a week made me want to puke while laughing. (Although if she really had been bedding a lot of her schoolmates, why would these guys still think that she was a virgin?). Coleen was so good here that I remembered saying that she even performed better than the Superstar that year. Who else could deliver a throwaway line like “Kinikilig ako just by looking at him” and totally bring the house down? Your move, La Aunor.

I wonder whatever happened to Sophie Albert’s career. I really thought she would make it big after winning Artista Academy. As Lia, she was the right amount of annoying and insecure (especially with her Forever 21 wardrobe). On the other hand, Kit Thompson’s Ping was extremely detestable and probably best represented the (worst?) kind of his generation. His biggest comeuppance was when Miles included him in that farewell video with the words “I’ll see you soon”. Ouch!!

Side note: Why did they have to butcher his masturbation scene? Damn you, Star Cinema!!

5. It was only apt that Miles idolized Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye, hello?) who taught me the meaning of the word “phony”. A seemingly inauthentic and shallow generation unfairly judged by society while they faced real-life problems? This story needed a tragedy, not a forced inspirational ending. Release the Cinemalaya cut!!

“Being happy and having no right to be unhappy are two completely different things.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published August 2, 2014.)