ISKA (Theodore Boborol, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Gusto ko talaga mahalin ang pelikulang ito nang buong-buo dahil sa powerful first scene niya kung saan si Aling Iska (ang napakahusay na si Ruby Ruiz) ay matiyagang binibihisan ang kanyang apo na special needs kid. Ang mga katulad niya na magulang/lola/guardian ang best people in the whole wide world.

Ang ganda nung umiikot lang ang kuwento sa buhay nilang maglola at sa bwiset na lolo (played to demonic perfection by Soliman Cruz, na ultimo pagkamot ng bayag eh nakakairita). Photocopy-photocopy sa UP, laba-laba with Zonrox, linis-linis ng ibang bahay as sideline. Sadyang napakahirap maging mahirap.

(Side note: Ang ganda ng sound design niya na bumagay sa top-notch surround sound system ng Evia Cinema. Naririnig ko ang lahat ng ingay sa bawat sulok ng sinehan na parang nasa gitna mismo ng Krus na Ligas.)

Kaso kasabay ng pagtaas ng kanyang blood pressure ang paggamit ng shaky cam at tuluyang pagkalat ng istorya at pagkalito sa nais niyang iparating. Kalaunan hindi ko alam kung maaawa ako sa kanya o matatawa sa bangayan nilang mag-asawa.

May subplot tungkol sa pakialamerang Martina Tulfo. May eksena ng mga aktibistang estudyante na di ko alam ano ang ipinaglalaban. Tapos biglang may staredown sina Aling Iska at Romina Mondragon na hindi totoong dragon kasi biglang umurong para ikadena si Cazzie. Iiyak na ba ako o maiiyak kakatawa?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

YUP, I AM THAT GIRL (Maine Mendoza, 2017)

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“Twenty years from now, people might not give a shit about me anymore. But still, I want to see if any of what I have written here came to life. I want to see if the things I wanted when I was 22 are still the things I want when I reach 42.”

Refreshingly honest and quirky, like listening to one of your close friends tell some of her funny life stories. I just wish there were more of the personal anecdotes (like the hilarious egg story with the fussy Mexican lady) and less of the Cosmo-like lists and love/life advice and platitudes.

There really wasn’t much here that I haven’t read yet from other magazines. The only difference was that this was written from her perspective so even rehashed information sounded interesting because of her innate humor.

I also liked that this had a lot more content compared to the other celebrity “books” that were mostly photo albums. It was also unfiltered as promised and surprisingly free of the usual gimmicks (not a single chapter was dedicated to Alden, whee!).

It ended on a sour note though with a closing chapter that had most of her sponsors comparing her to their products. Did we really need to know how she’s very much like Rejoice, Zonrox, and Funtastyk Pork Tocino? Eek!

Rating: ★★★☆☆