CATCH ME… I’M IN LOVE (Mae Czarina Cruz, 2011)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Hay naku, buti na lang talaga at ang nakatuluyan ni Warden Roan (Sarah Geronimo) in real life ay si childhood friend Vitto (Matteo Guidicelli) at hindi si Presidential asshole Erick (Gerald Anderson). Sabihan ba naman siya na “mukhang high school teacher na tumandang dalaga”, bakit mo piniling mahalin yan girl?

May baong kilig naman ang AshRald pero hindi ko kinaya yung mga eksena dito tulad ng paglalandian nila sa pilapil. Kelan pa naging romantic ang pagyayakapan sa putikan? Eek! Anong sunod, magpapagulong-gulong kayo sa Payatas?

Wala masyadong ganap. Akala ko nga tapos na ang movie nung first hour mark kasi happy ending na. But no, biglang nagdagdag ng unnecessary conflicts (katulad ng irrational na pagiging insekyora ni Roan) na hindi naman dapat problema in the first place. Kaya ayun mabilisan din na-resolve before the pretend kissing scene (bantay-sarado pa si Mommy Divine dati eh).

Nakakalungkot talaga na ang only character development dito ni Roan eh natuto siyang mag-style ng buhok kasi wala siyang ginawa sa buong pelikula kundi ayusin ang makulit niyang bangs.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES (Raya Martin, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

One character probably summed it up best when he mentioned that the others may have seen one too many Hollywood crime films since there were no serial killers in the Philippines (hail Queen Jessica Zafra!). Although this adaptation of the Palanca-winning novel by F.H. Batacan had a distinctly Pinoy setting (what screamed poverty more than the Payatas dumpsite?), nothing else felt authentic in this slow-paced procedural slash disappointing non-thriller.

I couldn’t get past the unnatural dialogue between the two conyo Jesuit priests (Nonie Buencamino and Sid Lucero). When the latter said something like “Nobody raised a stink?”, I just wanted to make tungga a bottle of holy water. Although these served well during one Atenista joke, the English conversations just felt (what did you call it again, Holden Caulfield?), ah yes, phony. Don’t get me started on the unnecessary (oh look we’re multilingual!) French talk.

Even the themes didn’t exactly break new ground. Inefficiency of our local crime units? Politicians taking advantage of the poor? Abusive power of the Church? Pedophile priests? Where was Joel Lamangan when you needed him? Worse, the big reveal of the killer felt very anticlimactic with the introduction of a last minute character (and not in a menacing Kevin Spacey in Se7en way) whose motives and modus weren’t fully explained.

At least it had the budget for a competent all-star cast, lovely cinematography and terrific production design (that fully captured the grimy late 90s aesthetics). It also obviously wasn’t a rushed production with a pre-keto diet Mae Paner (and was that the late Joy Viado in one scene?).

I got bored during the sluggish killer confession scene so I just imagined a more interesting version of the movie in my head. I renamed Buencamino’s Father Saenz as Father Science since he was a forensics expert anyway and with all the victims’ missing hearts and genitals, he sought the help of Kim Chiu’s Mayen who already had an experience with monsters that shove organs down people’s throats. Chito Roño’s Smaller and Smaller Bagwas, anyone?

Rating: ★★☆☆☆