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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Movie Digest # 058

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 9, May 4, 7:00pm

Just a background, this is the first in line for the DGPI project called “Sine Direk”. It’s a showcase of indie works from the director’s guild members that include Peque Gallaga, Maryo J. Delos Reyes and a few more. As for this Joel Lamangan film, written by Ricky Lee (after a hiatus of scriptwriting), it depicts a world in the perspective of a lady on her 70’s played by Gloria Romero. She has two issues, as the film progresses. First, she has to let her community understand about the two men in her life (played by Eddie Garcia and Robert Arevalo) from which she is sharing a house. The first man is her partner for a long time and the other is a long lost husband who came back from Hawaii. It’s a pretty riot premise, I contest. But the film tackles more than that. The town mayor happens to be harassing some people, including Gloria Romero’s character, to sell their land in exchange of a profitable project that would build a cemetary and a mall in one. As one character quips, “para ho masaya nang mamatay”. The story may be too crowded but I just love every scene where the three senior actors (occasionally with Armida Siguion – Reyna) share a frame/sequence. It’s ending is a bit predictable but the stagey execution there is something that I always look forward in a film.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who can spell and pronounce fuschia correctly.

SM Megamall, Cinema 9, May 9, 11:35am

Hands down, it’s the first better Pinoy film for the second quarter. No frills whatsoever, it tells a story of a family during the wake of their father. It borders to dramedy and black comedy as the characters explore the Filipino myths during funerals. The cast includes Dick Israel, Elizabeth Oropesa, Gina Alajar, Roderick Paulate (reprising his gay roles during the 80’s) and Manilyn Reynes as the siblings who happen to be seizure-friendly. For the plot itself, it’s marketable. It’s only a bonus to see the actors do some ad-libs, “ignoring” the script that creates a natural atmosphere all through out the film. The part where the coffin cannot fit in the door and the neighbors started to use the second-floor window instead is a strike of genius.

Friends who might appreciate it: all Filipinos, mourning or not.

SM Mall of Asia, IMAX Theater, May 9, 3:30pm

To say the least, the film is about making the crew of a spacecraft that is at war. I myself am not a Trekkie so to view it out of nothing is a great experience on itself. It’s good that I didn’t feel lost or alienated (no pun intended) while watching the film. I wish I could mention more about how I love Kirk’s boldness on gauging his skills as team captain and how every office needs a Spock but that’s saying too much for a sci-fi movie. CGI is fine and no scene would remind me of any film about the outer space. Acting is also good. Direction is good. Definitely, the first above average US summer flick for 2009. And MTV Movie Awards would be feasting on this, I’m betting.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who wish to live longer, prosper and boldly go.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 5, May 13, 10:30pm

My take on this is a martial arts film about, well, the martial arts. I thought before that it’s just a genre. The film disproves that as it confirms a street in China called “the street of the martial arts clubs”. It then moves on to tell the life of Ip Man, a luminary in one variety of martial arts, from war-torn China up to his getaway to Hongkong. All in all, it’s too Star Cinematic (read: mainstream). I just have to note that some scenes are either too cool (Chinese kung-fu versus Japanese karate, whoa!) or too funny (the revenge of the warehouse manangs is for the books).

Friends who might appreciate it: Ip-ren “Bata” Reyes and company.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 5, May 13, 10:30pm

First things first: I enjoyed the film. Maybe it has something to do with the wanderlust in me. As a film alone, it works. It served as a sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” whereas in the books, “Angels and Demons” came out first. This time, Robert Langdon is tasked to unlock the mystery in Vatican and help save the four kidnapped cardinals. As expected, minor details from the book were removed. But for me, it doesn’t affect the whole intention of the film. The depiction of the papal voting looks authentic and refreshing to see. It’s fast-paced and thrilling at times though it lacks the build-up it needs for its climactic twist.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who agree that Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon is this generation’s answer to Ian Fleming’s James Bond.

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