MOVIE REVIEW: MALEFICENT (Robert Stromberg, 2014)

0AA7C2D2-AA85-4286-9204-21AFD6809AEB

SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Maleficent:

1. I’m done with these reimaginings of classic fairy tales because none of them were actually good. Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Jack the Giant Slayer, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Stop ruining my childhood!

2. Let’s get this out of the way, Angelina Jolie was magnificent. My favorite scene had to be the one where she was staring at the beastie, er, baby from outside the window and she was vicious and gnarling and full of disdain. If only she were given an hour and a half to do that, I bet the movie would have been more interesting.

3. I’m all for female empowerment but did they really have to make the men here look evil and worthless? The king played by Sharlto Copley acted like a creature from District 9. Prince Charming on the other hand looked more like a messenger sent by the actual Prince Charming.

4. Who wants a villain slash hero? Who are we kidding here? We all paid to see a vicious Jolie and we ended up with a neutered version. (Besides, Rubi beat her to it.)

5. Bella Flores, Paquito Diaz, Cherie Gil. Just the thought of these people gives me the creeps. Sadly, this movie was like watching a really nice Gladys Reyes helping Judy Ann Santos do the laundry instead of throwing that damn labada at her and slamming her face in a big palanggana of soapy water. Now where’s the fun in that?

6. It had to be said: Frozen did it (first) better.

7. Those fairies were too corny and annoying. And what happened to their names of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather? I love Imelda Staunton but she was way better as Dolores Umbridge. Ooh, and watch Vera Drake.

8. Maleficent could heal herself, make things float, summon wild creatures, transmogrify humans and animals, and yet couldn’t grow a new pair of wings?

9. Wait, so Maleficent killed Aurora’s father (whom she barely met) and everything was right in the world?

10. So in this feminist version, the movie still ended with Aurora in the arms of Prince Charming and Maleficent with her male aide?

Argh!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published June 4, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: SANTA SANTITA (Laurice Guillen, 2004)

D66CC8F3-265A-431A-A418-4A07F323EF2C

SPOILER ALERT!!

Just imagine kung yung pinakamalandi mong bff nagising isang umaga with healing powers. At hindi lang siya basta pokpok version ni Elsa (Ate Guy, not Frozen) ha. More of Magdalena ikaw ay sawimpalad to Mama Mary real quick.

Ganun ang naging kapalaran ni Malen (Angelica Panganiban) dito. Nung una allergic siya sa simbahan at galit na galit sa nanay (Hilda Koronel) na nagdadasal kapalit ng donasyon. Tapos in a cruel twist of fate, naging instant prophet (ata kasi bigla siya nagsuot ng costume ng mga jakono) slash faith healer siya. Sa sobrang lakas niya humiling sa pagdadasal, inakala ng jowa-jowaan niya na si Mike (Jericho Rosales) na kaya niya buhayin ang namatay nitong anak na nabubulok na pero nakakunot pa rin ang noo.

Blatant ang influence ng Himala dito. Sayang lang kasi wala masyadong nasabi ang pelikula. May konting sundot about the hypocrisy of Catholics (tulad nung mga chismosang Titas of Quiapo na nagsabi na binababoy ni Malen ang simbahan for wearing her Freeway outfits with plunging necklines and short skirts pero more paninira naman sa isa’t isa to get prayer customers).

Easy target pa naman ang religion sa mga ganitong klaseng pelikula pero parang natakot siya mabansagang makasalanan. Bagay na bagay pa naman kay Angelica ang Madonna-whore role (she wasn’t Rubi for nothing). Sana mas na-explore pa yung confused feelings niya regarding that dichotomy. Para que pa na nagkaron siya (or at least visions) ng stigmata diba?

And speaking of, naalala ko tuloy bigla si Bianca Lapus na hinihimatay tuwing may interview dati tapos dumudugo bigla ang mga palad. Medyo bata pa ako nun (wew) pero I really didn’t fall for that publicity stunt. After her fifteen minutes of fame, ayun she went the way of the infamous Judiel Nieva. Tama si Ate Guy all along. Wala talagang himala.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆