LAST 2 3 4! (Genevieve Ofania, 2019) – ★★☆☆☆

Oh, it has already been broughten!!

Kung pep squad ang short film na ito sa UAAP Cheerdance Competiton, sigurado ako na ito ay Ateneo Blue Babble Batallion.


SA AMONG AGWAT (Don Senoc, 2019) – ★★★★☆

Napanood ko na ito nung Cinemalaya. Maganda pa rin.


ANG LUMUNOD SA ATIN (Sonia Marie Regalario, 2019) – ★★★☆☆

Pwedeng 90’s episode ng Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Syokoy. Gusto ko yung implication na nalulunod ang bata sa kanyang fantasy world kakanood ng mga paborito niyang pelikula tulad ng Ang Panday, E.T, at The Neverending Story. Hindi ko lang talaga ma-take yung isang eksena na suminghal ang nanay niya sabay sabi ng “Wala ka talaga pakialam sa pamilyang to eh. Sana ikaw na lang ang… (ultra-contrived dramatic pause).”


THE SLUMS (Jan Andrei Cobey, 2019) – ★★★★☆

Satire kung satire. Dami kong tawa dito. Sobrang scathing criticism sa mga exploitative docus and news features romanticizing poverty (including subtitles na walang kinalaman sa totoong sinasabi ng mga interviewees). Walang nakaligtas kahit ang silver lining speech ni Catriona, delivered by the syokoy boy sa taas na naging baklang kanal dito.

“Kung mahirap po kayo, bakit po kayo mataba?” sabay focus sa cellphone. Hala grabe siya! Napaisip tuloy ako bigla kaninong side ba ako.


SA GITNA NG LUNGSOD (Ivan Cortez, 2019) – ★★☆☆☆

Nagsusumigaw ang filter ng SERIOUS DRAMA!! Sana lang hindi chaka umarte si kuyang Martial Law victim.


ANG GASGAS NA PLAKA NI LOLO BERT (Janina Gacosta, Cheska Marfori, 2019) – ★★★★☆

Lakas ng tama sa puso ng kwento na ‘to. Napakahusay pa nina Dido dela Paz at Soliman Cruz. Sobrang nagustuhan ko yung ambiguity ng desires and motivations nila habang more bonding sa love for music. Ganda!!

MOVIE REVIEW: ML (Benedict Mique, Jr., 2018)



Reminded me that we rarely get good local thrillers similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane or Don’t Breathe. I probably would have liked this better if it chose to simply focus on being the torture porn that it was and not tried too hard to be relevant by using Martial Law as the main theme (ooh #21 September Street!).

So the only way these Marcos apologist millennials would understand the atrocities of ML was to show Tony’s Labrusca being electrocuted by a deranged colonel? By being nothing more than a series of torture scenes and Valkyrie jokes, didn’t it trivialize the stories of actual victims?

At least the great Eddie Garcia was there to keep things going with his menacing portrayal. Why were we asked to feel sorry for him in the end, though? So what did we really learn?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 8, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: LAST NIGHT (Joyce Bernal, 2017)



My notes on Last Night:

1. Let me begin with an erratum on a glaring boo boo that I made when I posted my notes on Love You to the Stars and Back. I incorrectly identified the character of Julia Barretto as Carmina Salvador since I actually saw Last Night’s trailer prior to that movie.

Whether it was cinema fatigue or my inner cinephile that went bonkers upon hearing that film reference (that was the same name of Dawn Zulueta’s character in Hihintayin Kita sa Langit), I would like to apologize for the confusion that it caused especially to all the JoshLia fans that lost sleep over that inaccurate trivia.

2. We first see the real Carmina Salvador (Toni Gonzaga) dangling from a billboard on the side of the Jones Bridge after a botched suicide attempt. Her cry for help was noticed by Mark Peters (Piolo Pascual), who was also on a suicide mission at the said bridge. (Side note: Is this really a popular destination for depressed people in the Binondo/Ermita area? I’m really curious to know how many suicide cases have happened here within the last decade. Google wasn’t really helpful.) Anyway, they ended up helping one another and in the process also fell madly in love with each other. The end.

Well, not really. Of course there had to be a big twist because the screenplay seemed to have been built around that gimmick. In a reveal that would make M. Night Shyamalan curl up in a fetal position, Carmina actually turned out to be a ghost (she died in 1973 during Martial Law; naks, relevant!) that only appeared before Mark. Yes, he could see dead people (well, one dead person in the beginning and a few more towards the end of the movie). Eek!

3. I really wish the movie didn’t rely too much on the (obvious) twist so that it didn’t have to spend its final 30 minutes explaining everything (in washed-out flashbacks!) and feeling smart on how much it was able to fool the audience.

Aside from The Sixth Sense, most of the scenes that had Mark interacting with Carmina reminded me a lot of the “I Love You, Moo Moo” episode of the 90’s movie Tatlong Mukha ng Pag-ibig. My favorite scene there was when Tonton Gutierrez carried the ghost of his dead wife (played by Sharon Cuneta) inside their honeymoon suite while the caretaker (Leroy Salvador) watched in horror as his crazy amo flirted with an imaginary entity. I actually wondered if that straightforward format that wasn’t reliant on a twist would have made the story here much better (and less cornier).

Also, I’d actually need help in remembering another Hollywood/foreign movie about a living human being that communicated and fell in love with the spirit of a deceased person (something like Just Like Heaven, but not really). I wouldn’t want to be up for the next few nights.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why received a lot of flak for apparently romanticizing suicide and I kinda understood that perspective when I watched Mark and Carmina play cutesy with a blow dryer while they were inside a tub. Or when they fantasized on placing an aircon and a mattress on their backs before diving in a pool. Or when Carmina suggested “maligo sa dinuguan at magpakain sa shark” (huh?).

This made the shift in tone during the latter part of the movie even more jarring when it suddenly turned pro-life and started spreading a message of optimism and hope. All that was lacking in that final bubblegum bridge sequence was a dancing unicorn.

5. I was a huge fan of the Toni-Piolo pairing in Starting Over Again so I was a bit surprised at how much I was turned off by their performances here. Toni had her quirkiness turned up to its maximum level and she kept shouting her lines like she was still hosting Pinoy Big Brother (“Hello Philippines! Hello world!!”).

Piolo fared much better (as he was required to go topless yet again and shamelessly showed off his abs twice!), but he spent most of his scenes brooding and acting really stuck-up. Sayang, because I really missed this fun partnership.

6. At least the technical aspects were really commendable. Before Cathy Garcia-Molina, I think Joyce Bernal was the queen of rom-coms and she really tried to make the most out of the weak story here.

The movie also looked really good, very much like a glossy maindie. I also loved the song choices (except for one that sounded like it had Piolo singing).

7. I couldn’t get over the fact that Toni was the twin of Joey Marquez. And that Joey was named Ricardo Reyes. Yes, Ricky Reyes! Bwahahahaha!

Also, Carmina (whose real name’s Jennifer, btw) was actually a smart entrepreneur and influencer for bringing her new living friends to their family restaurant every single time. Shouldn’t it have been time for her to start a Twitter or Instagram account, though?

8. Burning questions:

• Why did an old soul like Carmina sound very much like a millennial? Also, why did she keep acting like she didn’t know that she was already dead? Diba audience lang naman may hindi alam?

• If she really wanted to prevent Mark from committing suicide, why did they spend most of their time trying to figure out how to die together? Did she only realize that after she fell in love with him?

• Did they play Bloody Crayons in one scene as a cross-promotion for Star Cinema movies?

• If nobody could see her, why didn’t anyone (except for the friend of dying lola) even ask who Mark was talking to? More chismis, more fun lang?

• Why did she kill herself after just seeing blood on the side of Jones Bridge (sure, her boyfriend was supposed to be there, so she automatically assumed that the blood was his)? Why, gurl, why?

• Paano sila maghihintayan sa langit if she’s stuck in limbo?

• If Carmina killed herself during Martial Law, why was her brother played by Patrick Sugui (shouldn’t he be like 40ish) and her mother was the still youthful Marina Benipayo? Were they also ghosts? Then why couldn’t they all see each other? Or was Patrick supposed to be the young Joey Marquez? Help!!

• Bakit kapag si Piolo ang nagsasabi ng “nangulangot” parang classy and sexy pa rin? Huhuhu!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆