MOVIE REVIEW: URBAN LEGEND (Jamie Blanks, 1998)

Eto na ba ang weirdest stories na kayang maisip ng mga Amerikano? Walang-wala yan sa imagination nating mga Pinoy.

Maliban sa ahas lover ni Alice Dixson sa Robinson’s Galleria (na take note, twin ni billionaire heiress Robina Gokongwei), aliw na aliw ako nung lumabas ang kuwento na gawa sa pusa ang siopao. Sinabi pa sa akin ng pinsan ko na tingnan ko daw yung mark sa siopao kasi yun ang magsasabi kung ano ang laman niya (kapag yellow dot asado, red dot for bola-bola, at pink dot for sio-meow). Matagal din ako hindi kumain sa Hen Lin nun.

Syempre natakot din ako sa sinabi ng lola ko na wag ako lalabas kapag tanghali (tirik ang araw) kasi meron manunupot (meaning taong naglalagay ng mga bata sa supot). Yung dugo daw ng mga bata ang ginagamit pampatibay ng mga tulay tapos pinupugot ang ulo nila at isinasama sa semento. Kaya kapag dumadaan kami nun sa tulay ng Tanauan sa Batangas, napapaisip ako ilang matitigas na ulong bata na ang nakahalo dun. Buti na lang lagi ako natutulog kapag tanghali.

Pero ang pinaka-orkot moment talaga eh yung tungkol sa White Lady ng Balete Drive. Yung bigla na lang sumasakay sa likuran ng kotse kapag napadaan ka dun ng hatinggabi. Tapos nagka-movie pa na si Zsa Zsa Padilla yung white lady na biglang naging naaagnas na bangkay habang nagsasayaw. Isang buwan ata akong hindi nag-banyo ng gabi dahil sa hinayupak na pelikulang yun. Dapat siningil ko ang Seiko Films para sa UTI bill ko. Huling balita napadpad sa Concha Cruz Drive sa Parañaque yung white lady. Hindi ko rin alam bakit naisipan pa niyang pumunta sa South. Baka gustong mag-malling sa Alabang Town Center.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: THE BRIDE AND THE LOVER (Joel Lamangan, 2013)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on the latest Joel Lamangan opus, The Bride and the Lover:

1. “I should have strangled her with my Hermes scarf. Mahal ang Hermes ha!” Oh, this is that kind of movie. Cringe.

2. Paulo Avelino’s a sensitive actor and I can just imagine him cringe-ing & thinking how badly he needed this paycheck.

3. “Furnitures”. I never thought I’d hear it in a movie.

4. Hayden Kho played a bodyguard role that didn’t require acting and he was still bad. He was better in his online movies.

5. Unintentionally funny sex scenes with “Even If” playing in the background. I can’t even.

6. Did the invitation just read “Las Pinas, Paranaque City”? They do know those are two different cities, right?

7. As expected in kabit movies, there’s a requisite catfight. This one had the women spewing “puke” and “burikak”. Eww.

8. Jennylyn Mercado to Lovi Poe: “Maitim ang singit mo!!”

Should she feel offended? Expecting pink?

Something to ponder on.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published May 3, 2013.)

MOVIE REVIEW: FELIX MANALO (Joel Lamangan, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Felix Manalo:

1. Let me start with a disclaimer. To all my INC friends, this is not an attack on your religious beliefs. All my opinions are about the movie and none on our differences of faith. Love and peace.

2. When I first saw the trailer of this film, I thought, what else was there to show? And I was right. Everything you needed to know was right there, down to all the stars and starlets that had cameo roles.

3. To be fair, there were some noteworthy things in this movie. The costumes and production design (except for the Xeroxed portraits of American Presidents) definitely showed that the movie had a huge budget and the attention to detail was commendable. Some roles (although predictable, Jaime Fabregas as a prayle? Groundbreaking!) were also well-acted.

4. I wasn’t sure why every location (down to street names) and year had to be flashed onscreen. I guess the movie wanted to clearly show the timeline (Birth to death! No wonder it was three hours long!!) of important events in Manalo’s life. But really, did we need to be reminded that they were in Paranaque when the shop clearly showed Sumbrereria de Paranaque? How about the word Maynila shown in the scene that was shot in front of the Manila City Hall?

5. For a movie with a budget though, the sound design was scratchy, the musical score was relentless, the editing was confusing (with abrupt transitions from scene to scene), and the visual effects (especially during the war scenes) were laughable. Also, in the latter part of the movie, Dennis Trillo and Bela Padilla (with perma-crimped hair) played older versions of themselves with full-on face latex but their hands didn’t even age one bit. That was a missed Vaseline endorsement right there.

6. I’m sure Manalo’s a very interesting person but this movie just didn’t give his life story any justice. The idea of a man constantly questioning his source of faith and transferring from one religion to another in search of the ultimate truth is a gold mine. Such a missed opportunity.

7. It was a typical Joel Lamangan (of late) movie. Some scenes were staged like a high school drama. Please bring back the director that created searing socio-political commentaries like Bulaklak ng Maynila and Ang Huling Birhen sa Lupa.

8. I really didn’t understand the whole Japanese War sequence. Was it to show that the INC were severely persecuted for staying true to their faith? The only thing I clearly understood was that we don’t have any other Japanese captain to cast in our movies except for Jacky Woo.

9. Speaking of great casting, Gabby Concepcion played the son of Dennis Trillo. I know, right?

10. One other thing that wasn’t clearly explained in the movie was the instant wealth of Manalo. The latter scenes showed him living in a mansion in Riverside, San Juan and another one showed him riding a Cadillac. Sure, it would have been a controversial topic that might spark a lot of debate but isn’t that what biopics are for?

11. If they got one thing right, it was to ask Sarah G. to sing the movie’s theme song. An additional star just for that (hey, this is my rating!).

12. The end credits listed the actors’ names in alphabetical order. By first name. I wanted to cry.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published October 19, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MINSAN, MINAHAL KITA (Olivia Lamasan, 2000)

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We had the right love at the wrong time ang peg.

Sa huli, magkakatabi ang mga kotse nila dahil sa sobrang traffic.

Magkakatitigan. Susunod ang matatamis na ngitian. Lalong lalakas ang chorus ng Somewhere Down the Road habang hindi gumagalaw ang mga sasakyan nila at lalong magiging sanhi ng traffic sa Parañaque.

Tatak Lamasan. #iconic

Rating: ★★★★☆