Posts filed under ‘Full length films’
My Kontrabida Girl
Director: Jade Castro
Cast: Rhian Ramos, Aljur Abrenica, Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Bella Flores, Enzo Pineda, Chariz Solomon, Kevin Santos, Sef Cadayona, Ken Chan, Bela Padilla, Gwen Zamora
Do not be fooled by its deceptively accessible surface, enhanced by the parade of delicious biceps thanks to Aljur Abrenica, Enzo Pineda et. al. You may think you’re just watching another run-of-the-mill boy-meets-girl story (well, to some extent that’s what it is) but who would’ve thought that GMA Films would come up with a romantic comedy that’s not plain fluff? (more…)
After a firestorm of criticism regarding the disqualification of MNL 143 on the basis of poor casting, the opinion that Cinemalaya heads should be ashamed is a pretty unanimous one. Lawyer and film critic Oggs Cruz, who resigned from the selection committee in protest, argues rightly that the prerogative of casting is “within the ambit of the creative freedom provided to a filmmaker who is making [a film] as an independent artist and not as a hired craftsman.”
Simply put, the organizers deserve to be criticized for striking a pose of “freedom,” but operationalizing the opposite. Independent spirit that is not. To trully allow filmmakers the freedom to put forward their own ideas necessarily entails that they also be allowed to calculate their own risks, wager their own gambles, and as screenwriter Raymond Lee says, “make their own mistakes.” (more…)
Director: Cathy Garcia Molina
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Angel Locsin, Boom Labrusca, Edgar Allan Guzman, Tetchie Agbayani, K Brosas
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy Unofficially Yours. Because I did. An enjoyment, however, that went nothing beyond the purely escapist pleasure of being in a darkened cinema by yourself for two hours, away from nagging office deadlines, obscenely increasing gas and power rates and other daily burdens that, unfortunately, are officially ours.
The film seemed promising, topbilled by two of the best actors of their generation and directed by Star Cinema’s resident auteur. Many were raving. The moviehouse I saw it in was still pretty packed. And yet, in spite of all that it had going for it, I found the film ultimately unremarkable. (more…)
Director: Chris Martinez
Cast: Marian Rivera, Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff, Rufa Mae Quinto, Aljur Abrenica, Tom Rodriguez, Mikael Daez, John Lapus
Director: Joey Gosiengfiao
Cast: Dina Bonnevie, Azenith Briones, Jennifer Cortez, Bambi Arambulo, Deborah Sun
Wherever you go, in any Pinoy barkada with a sizable bakla/babaeng bakla percentage, one has probably heard overenthusiastic recommendations of Joey Gosiengfiao’s 1980 film Temptation Island, whether in the form of discreetly swapped VCDs and DVDs (rare kung orig) or the more common “uy bakla pakopya naman ng torrent mo.” Blurt out in the presence of any gay urbanite “Rub a dub dub” and someone will finish the line, “two bitches in a tub.” (more…)
Director: Quark Henares
Cast: Jason Abalos, Glaiza de Castro, Alwyn Uytingco, Ketchup Eusebio, Matet de Leon, Diether Ocampo
How could a film on the alternative be so… mainstream?
I won’t lie. Rakenrol was horrible. Even though I love Pinoy rock, even though I love Jason Abalos, even though ngayon lang ako nagka-crush kay Alwyn Uytingco, man, I really felt like walking out of the film’s screening at CCP. (And trust me, I can watch horrible films and not feel that walkout urge.) (more…)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo diCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
It has all the elements of coolness. International espionage, dapper sartorial style, designer urban spaces. And hot characters. (Don’t they even perspire? Grrr.) Sure, I won’t deny that I immensely enjoyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s slick suits and gravity-defying fight scenes. Or Ellen Page’s smart clothes, and even smarter brain. And Marion Cotillard, mmm, who wouldn’t screw up their subconscious to grow old with that bombshell? Oh, and Leo was good, too.
But after more than two hours of pseudo-psychoanalysis chuchu, physics jargon and special effects extravaganzas, what the fuck was Inception really about? (more…)
The Karate Kid
Director: Harald Zwart
Cast: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson
I saw the new Karate Kid movie on a bus in EDSA. Viva piracy! I wasn’t really planning to watch the film, but the traffic was bad and the copy was decent.
Jaden Smith as the new Karate Kid is the latest in the slew of black accommodations after Barack Obama’s inauguration, the most prominent of which include first black Disney princess (The Princess and the Frog) and the campaign for a black Spiderman. (more…)
Director: Argel Joseph
Cast: Mon Confiado, Maria Isabel Lopez, Pen Medina, Chris Martinez, Jao Mapa
Pilantik’s poster describes it as “an Argel Joseph first main-die film.” Main-die? I was stumped. Is it because the main character dies or something? I wish some filmmakers would just focus on the material and stop fussing with outlandish labels.
I enter the cinema mulling (in annoyance) why Pilantik’s filmmakers chose to set themselves apart from both mainstream and indie films. What is an indie film anyway? What makes a mainstream film mainstream? With the boom in digital filmmaking, the subject of “independence” has been a continuously contested ground, evading both definition and encouraging debate. (more…)
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang
What bothers me is that despite its liberal positioning, heavy-handed environmentalist message, and critical appropriation of Bush era rhetoric, Avatar heaps all the progressive bits onto Jake Sully and his team of rogue Sky People. The Na’vi themselves are a people with no agency, portrayed as mere subjects of research, of love, of benevolence and aid. They are shown to be hardheaded, mystical, and to some extent, docile. Their physique and culture are an amalgamation of non-white entities: African, South American, Aborigine, animal and alien. “Savages,” Col. Quaritch calls them, but at least he’s the fictional villain. The real savagery is the directorial mishmash of everything non-Sky People (read: non-American, since Sully’s renegade team also consists of the token ethnic characters). (more…)