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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Movie Digest # 034

Robinsons Galleria, IndieSine (Cinema 8), January 19, 12:20pm

I must agree with a fellow film buff that it’s the “Brokeback Mountain” era. Lots of gay-themed films (as opposed to lesbian films like “Rome and Juliet”, etc.) are being produced and, I think, they’re selling well. Last time I checked at the video section at SM, some straight-to-video films of the same genre are on display. One VCD will even teach you how to macho dance (whoa!). “Sikil” is no different. It is a gay film, written perhaps by a gay writer. It tells a story of two childhood friends, one is gay, the other, straight. Miss Gay has feelings for Mr. Straight. They grew up in the province, along with a third wheel (thank God, it’s a she), but later on parted ways as their fate unfolds. Both were eaten by the sex industry. The gay one became a porn actor while the other, into sex trade. They meet again and try to rekindle what was left off. Technically, the film is OK. Some shots, especially in the province, are cool and poetic (very Cuban). At least two or three scenes are promising when it comes to acting. The actress who played as the third wheel delivers the good stuff. I wish to see her on her next films. The film actually posts a question that is worthy of a debate: can a straight guy really make love to another man without shedding off his sexuality/masculinity?

Friends who might appreciate it: those who remain traumatic after MMFF 2007.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 5, January 25, 3:50pm

This is definitely the must-see film for the week. It may be another post-“Training Day” Denzel Washington movie for some but it still delivers. There are two main characters in the film: a criminal and a police officer turned lawyer as played respectively by Denzel and Russel Crowe (they once had a match at the Oscars when the former stole the light from the latter’s effective portrayal in “A Beautiful Mind”). Ridley Scott of “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Down” has matured enough to stitch two different stories of two interesting characters. This time, there’s no overwhelming fight scene and no fireworks whatsoever. What remains is a linear storytelling that keeps you glued on what’s going to happen next to the characters. The film is based on true events but it does not have the feel. It traces their beginnings and influences, to the point that you start to think and feel for them. You can’t help but empathize with the characters no matter which side you are in.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who wish that the “Miami Vice” remake has been this good.

Robinsons Galleria, IndieSine (Cinema 8), January 26, 12:30pm

Promising sana ang gustong ibenta nitong pelikula, mga kwentong pinagtagpi-tagpi sa mata ng isang sekyu. Pero hindi rito nanirahan ang “Condo”, sinubukan pa nitong kumawala sa kung ano ang inaasahan sa kanya. Sa kasamaang palad, walang masyadong narating ang pagpipiglas nito mula sa usual o inaasahan. Ang pagdating ng isang “multo” ay idinirehe na tila isang suspense movie. Effective naman sa aspetong ito kaya’t kaabang-abang ang dulo na isa lang palang positibong premonisyon ng bida. Sayang. Ang ganitong materyal ay nagawa na sa “Signos” (na mas epektibo at eksahirado). Mahusay naman ang cast sa pangunguna ni Coco Martin. Ang mukhang manipis na karakter ng kanyang kasamahang sekyu ay pinakapal ni Arnold Reyes. May kakaibang presence si Diana Malahay pero walang masyadong naungkat tungkol sa kanyang karakter kaya hindi masyadong pumarada ang kanyang pagganap. Hindi ko masasabing pangit ang pelikula. Sa katunayan, aabangan ko ang susunod na gagawin ng mga gumawa nito.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who are about to view a model unit.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 4, January 26, 7:30pm

Not another wholesome, formula film. Yeah, they’re cute.

Friends who might appreciate it: the nostalgic ones.

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