DEAD KIDS (Mikhail Red, 2019)

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May isang scene dito that brought back a childhood trauma. Yung part na tiningnan ng isang alta kid yung tag ng shirt ni Sta. Maria at pinagtawanan na department store item.

Kasi nung isang field trip namin wala akong masuot na bago kaya hiniram ko yung polo shirt ng dad ko. Akala ko walang papansin kasi damit lang naman. Pero may isang nakakita na number 7 yung logo sa harap at pilit talaga tiningnan ang tag. Sabay-sabay sila nagtawanan na Jaworski yung brand ng suot ko.

Kaya one big pakyu sa inyong mga rich kidz! Babalikan ko kayo soon!!

(Just kidding, pinagtatawanan na lang namin ng mga friends ko ‘to. Pero totoo ang childhood trauma. So mag-ingat pa rin sila chz.)

P.S. Ang lakas ng star quality ni Kelvin Miranda dito. Pwede sila magkapatid ni Martin del Rosario. At ang galing talaga ni Vance Larena.

P.P.S. Kung nilakihan pa sana ang roles nina Gabby Padilla (I love you!!) at Sue Ramirez, ang laki sigurado ng maitutulong nila sa kwento.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019 Scorecard

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Best Feature Length Film

1. CIRCA (Adolf Alix, Jr.) – ★★★★☆
2. OPEN (Andoy Ranay) – ★★★★☆
3. LSS (Jade Castro) – ★★★★☆

4. LOLA IGNA (Eduardo Roy, Jr.) – ★★★☆☆

5. THE PANTI SISTERS (Jun Lana) – ★★☆☆☆
6. CUDDLE WEATHER (Rod Marmol) – ★★☆☆☆
7. WATCH ME KILL (Tyrone Acierto) – ★★☆☆☆
8. G! (Dondon Santos) – ★★☆☆☆
9. I’m Ellenya L. (Boy 2 Quizon) – ★☆☆☆☆

Not seen:
Pagbalik
Verdict

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

1. CHRISTIAN BABLES (The Panti Sisters)
2. JC SANTOS (Open)
3. PAOLO BALLESTEROS (The Panti Sisters)
4. KHALIL RAMOS (LSS)
5. MARTIN DEL ROSARIO (The Panti Sisters)
6. RK BAGATSING (Cuddle Weather)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

1. ANGIE FERRO (Lola Igna)
2. SUE RAMIREZ (Cuddle Weather)
3. ANITA LINDA (Circa)
4. ARCI MUÑOZ (Open)
5. JEAN GARCIA (Watch Me Kill)
6. GABBI GARCIA (LSS)
7. MARIS RACAL (I’m Ellenya L.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

1. JOHN ARCILLA (The Panti Sisters)
2. ELIJAH CANLAS (LSS)
3. ENCHONG DEE (Circa)
4. VANCE LARENA (Open)
5. RICKY DAVAO (Circa)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

1. TUESDAY VARGAS (LSS)
2. JACLYN JOSE (Circa)
3. MA. ISABEL LOPEZ (Lola Igna)
4. MERYLL SORIANO (Lola Igna)
5. INA RAYMUNDO (Open)
6. IANA BERNARDEZ (LSS)
7. GINA ALAJAR (Circa)
8. ELIZABETH OROPESA (Circa)
9. VIA ANTONIO (The Panti Sisters)
10. ROXANNE BARCELO (The Panti Sisters)

Until next year!!

CUDDLE WEATHER (Rod Marmol, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Ang tapang ni Sue Ramirez bilang Adela/Stephanie/Marie/(your hooker alias is your first pet + street name). Ganitong klaseng marupokpok (sorry, sex worker) role ang di gagawin ng mga contemporaries niya sa takot na mawalan ng Modess endorsement deal. Pero siya deadma lang at todo emote habang pinapakain ang kanyang sushi sa mga DOM.

Hindi ko alam saang mundo nag-e-exist ang realidad daw na ito. Nagpuputa si Adela kasi wala siyang ibang skills para kumita ng pera pero wala lang sa kanya magbayad ng 1k para sa ilang oras ng cuddling. Girl, di mo man lang ba naisip kung ano ang isinubo mo para dyan? (At may scene pa na nagtapon siya ng 1000 peso bills sa balcony ng condo niya na parang siya si Old Rose sa Titanic na nagtapon ng Heart of the Ocean.)

Tapos ibinahay niya si Ram (RK Bagatsing) and acted as his mentor slash bugaw with the condition na hindi siya titigasan sa kanya (and syempre bawal ma-in love, although alam naman natin lahat saan ito mapupunta bilang kasama ang Migraine ng Moonstar 88 sa soundtrack).

Nung una akala ko magiging Pretty Woman ang story, except na call boy din si Richard Gere. Pero with Adela’s purple wig and statement na ang pokpok ay hindi nagsasabi ng totoong pangalan, na-realize ko na mas gusto niya ang Closer feels as a Pinoy romcom. Yung ultimo pagtatahi meron hugot (“Minsan kapag ayaw pumasok, sabihan mo lang ng I love you at papasok din yan.”). Nyek.

Ang unfortunate kasi may dalang lungkot ang love story ng dalawang mahirap na pokpok trying to salvage whatever’s left of their dignity. Kahit medyo na-bother ako na puro matrona ang clientele ni Ram para matuloy ang love story. Magandang layer sana na tanggap din ni Adela na pumapatol siya sa bakla, no?

Sayang din kasi malakas ang chemisty nina Sue at RK at may dalang kilig yung slow dance nila sa kalsada under the neon warmth of the red light district (bilang hindi nag-JS Prom si Ram). Kaso kulang talaga eh. Kung sila nga walang paki at tuloy ang landian kahit may nag-ra-raid na sa motmot nila eh mas lalo ako walang paki sa kanila. Go lang humayo kayo at magpaka-pokpok.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

THE DEBUTANTES (Prime Cruz, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Debutantes:

1. I still haven’t forgotten about the clunky twist of last week’s Last Night and now we get another movie that hinged on the big reveal of an ‘imaginary’ being. Are our writers running out of original ideas to surprise the audience?

It probably would have been more acceptable if the said twist wasn’t so obvious the moment you see young Jona Soquite (or at least who I thought was her). Seriously, why would ‘siblings’ with a huge age gap have that twinning kind of severe BANGS (yes, nagsusumigaw) anyway? The only mystery left was whether she was the evil side of Carrie, er, Kate (a competent Sue Ramirez), or a completely different entity altogether (answer: sadly, the latter).

2. I had this discussion recently with a filmmaker friend on the lack of creative main titles in recent films (especially Star Cinema ones). We would usually see the same old cast names in red (or white) Times New Roman or Comic Sans fonts that clearly revealed the lack of originality or how much the final product was rushed.

One good thing about this movie was that it had a good opening credit sequence with blood flowing/dripping endlessly on various objects like a flower (cattleya?) or on the lips that would figure prominently later on. Reminded me so much of the Emmy-winning design for Six Feet Under.

3. Although the bullying and the public humiliation reminded me of Carrie, the similarity ended there because it was hard not to sympathize with the Mean Girls when this was obviously not an outright revenge flick. How could I cheer for the eventual deaths of young, irritating girls when Kate wasn’t the one doing the killings?

I never really rooted for a maligno, except for this one time when the Undin hid in the toilet bowl and preyed on the loudmouth landlady played by Vangie Labalan.

4. Speaking of Mean Girls, I couldn’t get why Ivy Aguas wannabe Jenny (Jane de Leon) was considered the Queen Bee. She didn’t look or speak the part and Michelle Vito as Candice had more of the Regina George vibe (although the latter was also a terrible actress so maybe that was the reason?).

To be fair, the Jenny character was a hoot. I laughed out loud when she said, “Hey guys, as you all know it’s my birthday. Yeeeees! Happy birthday to meeeee!!”.

5. I also couldn’t understand how Miles Ocampo ended up with this group of bitches considering that her Lara character seemed like the typical goody two-shoes. Sure, she lived alone in a humongous house and had an annoying fringed bag that screamed social climber, but her personality just didn’t seem to fit with the group. Was it because she was too dumb to know the difference between Geometry and Calculus and the group needed a budget Karen Smith?

6. Why would Kate agree to wear a revealing halter top when she had visible scratch marks on her back? Also, why didn’t she even bother to check how loose those strings were prior to attending a party full of privileged brats?

In this day and age of social media prominence, who would still post a public status of them embarrassing other people? Have these kids already forgotten about Ate Amalayer, or the Kuya that threw a hissy fit in Alfamart and got knocked down by a loaf of Gardenia, or the Sisteret that wanted to hog all the chairs in Starbucks? A documented case of bullying sounded like an instant lawsuit to me.

7. This was a Prime Cruz movie so of course it looked good. I really loved the use of saturated colors and I hope that it wasn’t just a product of SM Cinemas’ poor projection. I kinda missed his cool soundtrack though and the songs were mostly utilized during the end credits.

8. I really don’t get how these onscreen characters would cut their own hair and they’d always end up with salon gorgeous looks after. If I were to handle my own haircut, my mother would most probably ask if I recently had ‘tipus’ (uhm, thyphoid fever).

9. Why would a traumatized Kate immediately attend the wake of one of her bullies? Was it because we needed a scare scene involving a coffin? And why was Candice wearing a stylish cover-up and pekpek shorts there? Jenny should really have risen from the dead and slapped her silly for stealing the limelight (and for lack of respect, naturally).

10. Most of the horror elements were familiar tropes (they basically replaced the hair braid coming out of Naomi Watts’ throat in The Ring with a necklace; the jump scene when somebody would open a fridge and a person would be standing behind it was used twice, the other with a locker; the setup where the ghost would pull on the blanket of a sleeping person looked straight out of The Conjuring) and even impressive scenes like when the engkanto came out of Kate’s mouth looked similar to the one in The Possession (or one of the Ouija movies). I spent most of the time chuckling at how bad the death scenes were staged.

11. That was one dirty toilet bowl. Candice, please ask your maid to check the Coke hack on Facebook pronto.

12. This was the type of horror movie where a person in a pool would see the moo moo and decide to swim to the other side instead of getting her ass out of the water and fleeing for dear life. Congratulations Shayne (Chanel Morales) for winning this month’s Darwin Award!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆