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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Movie Digest # 060

Glorietta 4, Cinema 3, June 4, 8:10pm

A complete guide to horror movies of the 80’s! At some point, you have to be born yesterday to fully appreciate the wit, gore and the campiness of the film. It’s swell, swell fun on the outside but definitely shallow underneath. The experience is like trying out a horror house at Star City and just like in any theme park attraction, it would be best if you were going to enjoy this with friends (or as first movie date). It is technically well made (musical score, make-up, production design, etc.) and well acted. It undeniably puts Sam Raimi back to his comfort zone but that’s about it.

Friends who might appreciate it: our dear congressmen.

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 9, June 6, 3:00pm

This film was a Cinemalaya 2008 finalist and now enjoying a theatrical run at Robinsons Galleria for those who missed it at CCP. It tells a story of a neighborhood that may look clustered on the outside but actually distant. Things change when a fetus (named “Baby Angelo” by the landlady) is found in the garbage. The stories of the tenants start to unravel as a casual inquiry pursues. Concept-wise, the film is very promising and very Filipino. Visuals are also good, especially with the stills. Perhaps the problem for me is the stories and the way those are told. It’s either uninteresting or just plain exhausting.

Friends who might appreciate it: those who wish to be dragged (ooops, wrong film).

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 7, June 12, 12:20pm

This is the fifth film in the Sine Direk series and this time, the director in focus is Maryo J. delos Reyes. “Kamoteng Kahoy” is based on a true story in Bohol about a mass food poisoning that killed hundreds of grade school students caused by “kakanin” (sweetmeats) that has pesticide on it. The film tackles the grief, redemption and healing of the people involved. It stars Gloria Romero as the “kakanin” vendor, Nash Aguas, a survivor, and a supporting cast that includes Ana Capri, Anton Bernardo, Marisa Sanchez and Gerald Madrid. For sure, the film captures the bucolic atmosphere. It’s also well acted and well characterized. Since it’s a melodrama, melodramatic scenes are expected. And the film suffers from having lots of it. Other than that, the film is decent enough.

Friends who might appreciate it: banana cue lovers.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 2, June 16, 8:50pm

Past the initiative of putting Denzel Washington and John Travolta (along with John Turturro and James Gandolfini) in one project, the film is just another highjack movie. A bit entertaining at times but John Travolta’s overacting is a minus. Not to mention that the proposed resolution is anti-climactic and too simple. The saving grace perhaps is the idea that links stock market money to a crime held in big cities like New York.

Friends who might appreciate it: MRT/LRT passengers.

Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 9, June 6, 3:00pm

Ned Trespeces directs this other Cinemalaya 2008 finalist about the call center industry. The film tells five different stories of call center agents as they go with the flow and go against the tides. Though the direction is very, very raw and amateurish, some scenes look real and poignant. This includes the “dyahe” erection scene inside the car, the team lead mingling with her staff in celebration of a promotion, the longest hold-up sequence I have seen and one of that characters’ longing for an escapade. I like the way the film ends with a scene on the beach (in Boracay, to be exact). It shows the contrast of a mechanical life and a liberating life that is close to nature.

Friends who might appreciate it: cleverness and humor aside, call center agents.

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