MOVIE REVIEW: LOVE THE WAY Ü LIE (RC delos Reyes, 2020)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Ganito talaga ang klase ng pelikula na dapat pinapanood sa panahon ng pandemic. Yung magpapa-realize sa iyo na napakaikli ng buhay para sayangin sa panonood ng pelikula ni Xian Lim na walang kalatoy-latoy umarte.

Muntik ko na nga hindi tapusin ang pelikula kasi nangangalahati pa lang sobrang naiirita na ako. Si Xian paulit-ulit ang bintang na stalker si Alex Gonzaga (na psychic kaya laging naka-gypsy-gyspsyhan outfit) pero more hatak naman lagi para magpatulong. Yung jowa niya na si Kylie Versoza “died of a car accident” daw pero nabangga ng jeep. Si Alex lang dapat nakakarinig sa multo na si Kylie pero more sigaw ang ibang mga tao tuwing nagsasalita siya.

May eksenang humakbang ang secretary ni Xian sa cable wire offscreen. Tapos normal naman magsalita si Alex pero tinanong sya ni Xian “how it works exactly” at kung sinasapian ba sya ni Kylie. Ha? Hindi naman siya nagboses Sto. Niño diba? Basta nakakairita lahat parang yung umlaut lang sa title. Hindi pa bagay sina Alex at Xian kaya ang apt lang nung Honey, Nasa Langit na Ba Ako? reference with the love team of Regine Velasquez and Janno Gibbs.

Ang daming quirky sound effects at animated doodles at bubbles na mapapaisip ka kung biglang lalabas ang paborito mong K-drama actor. Pero mukhang hindi lang yun ang obvious influence. Hindi ko nga alam kung may pinaglumaang DVD ng Ghost sa Viva office na pilit nilang pinapanood sa mga creatives nila kaya iba’t ibang variations lang nito ang ginagawa nila recently (perfect itong companion piece ng Hindi Tayo Puwede, lalo na sa basurahan). May isang scene pa na garapalang ginaya (ay, homage pala) sa Notting Hill na akala ko madudulas si Xian habang umaakyat ng gate at mapapasigaw ng Filipino equivalent ng “Whoopsie daisy” na “Ay kabayo!!”.

Kung naghahanap kayo ng nakakatawa, fast forward n’yo na lang sa end credits tapos pakinggan n’yo ang nakakarimarim na duet nila ng “Sasakyan Kita” kung saan parang na-impacho kumanta si Xian. Enjoy!!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: UNTRUE (Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, 2019)

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At least iba sa usual Pinoy fare. Kaso mukhang mas bagay siya na short film. Kung tutuusin di rin naman bago ang story nya sa typical revenge thrillers. Ramdam mo pa na malakas ang influence dito ng Gone Girl.

Sobrang bano talaga umarte ni Xian Lim. Yung atake sa role eh parang day 1 pa lang niya sa Baliw-Baliwan 101 course ng Star Magic Workshop. Dami ko tawa sa kanya. Dun sa eksena na umiiyak siya na parang bata napa-“Huy ginagawa mo?” talaga ako sa screen.

Okay naman si Cristine Reyes. Ang standout for me here was Rhen Escaño. Malakas ang star quality niya kaya pala nakuha siya na scissor sister sa Adan.

Maayos naman ang techs overall. Pero ang nagustuhan ko talaga dito ay yung use nung mala-Greek chorus kasi naalala ko ang Mighty Aphrodite ni Woody Allen.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: PADDINGTON (Paul King, 2014)

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My notes on Paddington:

1. Why do these foreign movies now start with a disclaimer from the distributor explaining why the version you’re about to watch got mutilated? It’s not like we had a choice to begin with. (Ok, illegal downloads but don’t be such a smart-ass.)

2. I still couldn’t understand why the movie filled with British characters had to be dubbed by local actor Xian Lim. It didn’t add anything to the final product. It wasn’t like Paddington had to say a few Tagalog phrases. He actually ended up sounding like a Pinoy Harry Potter with a wobbly accent. Or a distant relative who lived in London for a few months and suddenly had a bloody faux British accent.

3. The mostly English cast was superb. Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, all it needed was a few more Downton Abbey players. And then there was Nicole Kidman.

4. To be honest, I was baffled by the glowing reviews for this movie. Maybe I was just too old and cranky to watch something so juvenile. I know it was primarily aimed at kids but if your idea of humor was a bear sticking toothbrushes in his ear then licking the earwax off before a human character actually used one to brush his teeth, then you might enjoy this.

5. The trench coat on Paddington reminded me so much of streakers. He could be the nicer cousin of Ted.

6. Two scenes were straight out of the Mission: Impossible movies and I have to say Kidman did it better than Cruise.

7. I liked the bit explaining how parents suddenly become overprotective of their kids. If only the film focused more on the heart instead of the crass.

8. The movie did make me crave for marmalade. Wait, is that different from jam? Or jelly? Either way, I need a jar now.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published February 16, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE REUNION (Frasco Mortiz, 2012)

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I couldn’t believe the lines in this movie. The screenplay was just horrible. I cringed every time one of the leads said something supposedly mind-blowing about love. It was even worse whenever Xian Lim delivered those lines.

The audience lapped up the lame jokes and gags in the same way that they enjoyed watching Moron 5 and the Crying Lady. I was left clueless.

Not even the competent performances of Jessy Mendiola and Matt Evans could save this one from the crapper.

As a big Eraserheads fan, I was completely offended.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

(Originally published September 3, 2012.)

TV REVIEW: SARAH GERONIMO: THIS 15 ME (Paul Alexei Basinillo, 2018)

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Popstar Royalty Queen Sarah Geronimo is Popstar Royalty Queen Sarah Geronimo.

Sayang lang kasi hindi fully na-capture ng special ang collective energy ng sold-out crowd sa Araneta (considering na highest grossing local concert siya of all time).

May time pa na mas malakas ang sigawan for James Reid. Wait, ano na pala nangyari sa prods with Daniel Padilla and Xian Lim?

Impressive ng dancing niya sa Tala number kahit mas marami pa kanta ng mga back-up singers nya. Tapos sunod-sunod yung foreign covers eh ang daming magagandang OPM songs from her last four iconic albums.

15th anniversary and di isinama ang career-defining na To Love You More? Uhm.

Nagustuhan ko yung mga behind the scenes na lumabas ang genuine personality niya. Mas open na siya at spontaneous. Ang laking difference from her Expressions days. We needed more of that here.

The best part pa rin yung Leaving on a Jet Plane na nakasuot lang siya ng plain white tee and ripped jeans. Parang nagpapaalam na siya sa glamourous showbiz life kasi lalagay na siya sa tahimik (pero parang lang pala). Sigurado ako bumaha ng Popster tears sa Araneta that night.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

MOVIE REVIEW: BAKIT HINDI KA CRUSH NG CRUSH MO? (Joyce Bernal, 2013)

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Kim Chiu’s perfect comic timing deserved a much better partner and story.

My notes on Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo?:

1. Why did Xian Lim deliver his lines like he wanted me to open a BDO account?

2. Kim Chiu was so charming even if she was dressed like a crazy K-Pop character made to do the silliest things.

3. “Did you liked what you saw?” Ohmy, I almost cringed to death.

4. To be honest, this material would have been perfect for Kimerald. The kilig factor was really missing.

5. They went from the Crimson Hotel to the HSBC Northgate parking lot. Geographical innacuracy only a Southerner would know.

6. I wonder what corporate office allowed that kind of red short shorts to work & what they would allow on casual Fridays.

7. I missed the old Joyce Bernal rom-coms that put her experience as an editor to great use.

8. Ramon Bautista kept giving relationship advice that probably worked better in a book. Wait, this was based on his book. Buy the book instead.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published August 3, 2013.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BRIDE FOR RENT (Mae Czarina Cruz, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Bride for Rent:

1. Trying hard to act was one thing. Trying really hard to play it straight was another.

2. The lines were so corny but Kim Chiu delivered them with such gusto. I really loved her comic timing in these rom-coms.

3. Lola’s boy. Check. Spiffy wardrobe. Check. Worked in a production company. Check. Screamed like a girl. Check. No wonder he didn’t want to get married.

4. I think I just split my kidneys while laughing so hard during Kim’s shower scene. She completely owned this movie.

5. Kim and Xian looked good together so the kilig factor was high but I wished he could go toe-to-toe with her acting prowess.

6. I really liked the bit with the real-life couples. It made me want to believe in forever.

7. “If a person knows how to say sorry, then he is a step closer to becoming a better person.”

8. Oh no, I bet Chinito would be messing with my brain the entire night!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally published January 20, 2014.)

MOVIE REVIEW: MUSLIM MAGNUM .357 (Francis Jun Posadas, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Muslim Magnum .357:

1. I need to know how to paint that mustache on my face in time for this year’s Halloween. That thing deserved second billing.

2. The way Jeorge Estregan emphatically pronounced the name of Allah each and every time actually sounded sacrilegious. A lot of young guys tried to imitate it earlier and I was just happy that nobody felt offended.

3. Sam Pinto was such a horrible actress that even her screams sounded fake. How could somebody not even know how to naturally scream? She sounded dreadful and funny. She also kept tripping and hitting stuff and they didn’t look intentional. Oh, she had a great contract. No kissing scenes here.

4. The movie kept reminding us every twenty minutes of the nobility of Muslims. And then it showed Estregan virtually killing everyone in sight.

5. Jerico Estregan gave the most butch performance since Xian Lim in Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo. He further proved that the acting gene certainly didn’t run in the family.

6. Victor Basa School of Acting: dialogue, dialogue, blink, dialogue, blink, dialogue, dialogue, blink.

7. In one scene, Pinto needed an idiot board to say this line: “Kelangan ko ng 25 million pesos para pakawalan.” She was supposedly playing a smart teacher.

8. In the next scene, they played the ransom video that was completely different from what was filmed earlier. Hey, even ransom videos needed to be properly edited, right?

9. John Regala’s beard must have been so heavy that he could barely move his mouth to speak. This movie should have been subtitled Attack of the Facial Hair.

10. Ten minutes into the movie, I knew that the only way to forget this highway robbery was to give in. I laughed all my way through the two hours and twenty minutes of this utter nonsense.

11. Who could resist this classic line: “Sa oras na magkaputukan, magkakagulo ang mga tao dito.” Weh di nga?

12. Or this other classic line uttered by Roi Vinzon: “Tinyente ka pa lang, heneral na ako. Mygahd!!!!!”

13. Or the scene where a character used Google Maps to locate a person. Or the blood stains made of ketchup. Or the crazy fistfight at the end. Or the entire scene discussing the different types of Magnums.

Oh, Jeorge, you just made my night.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published January 7, 2015.)