Greenbelt 3, Cinema 5, December 4, 8:55pm
The film posted the perpetual question “Who would you choose, the one you love but doesn’t love you or the one you don’t love but loves you?” It’s a simple, easy-to-dig tale of three characters in love, beautifully directed (and acted) in a very engaging way. The resolution may be a little sexist but it surely hits the point. I can say that this one’s a must-see.
Friends who might appreciate it: Those who think that the film is more than Gwyneth Paltrow’s tits.
Greenbelt 3, Cinema 3, December 4, 11:15pm
For me, this one’s a letdown. While watching the trailer, I was expecting this film would boast a grandiose epic that chronicles the great Amelia Earhart’s rise to aviation history. What’s left is a mishmash of a little poetry here and there, a little unconventional love story and less of the backbone that made Amelia the Amelia we all know. All these storytelling elements did not help heighten up her mysterious vanishing. The best part the film could share is a small peek on her celebrated aviatrix’ life. Too bad that Hilary Swank is not equipped enough to save the day.
Friends who might appreciate it: Those who can answer the question(s) posted by the song “Someday We’ll Know”.
Robinsons Galleria, Cinema 8, December 8, 2:15pm
Before putting any malice to the title, let me point out that the film is about the desaparecidos (Spanish term for “missing) played by Allen Dizon and Iza Calzado and the search for justice from their loved ones. The film is directed by Joel Lamangan (whose body of work is mostly inclined to this theme) and written by Bonifacio Ilagan. Most of the stuffs here are either predictable, from story to acting, or boring but decent enough to tell a rather simple story that is familiar to a particular sector of the Filipino society.
Friends who might appreciate it: This needs a lot of explaining: Sunshine Cruz. But we’re not friends.
Robinsons Place - Pioneer, Cinema 4, December 12, 12:05pm
I believe that the best way to enjoy a Tarantino film is to somewhat attempt not to think that the film is going to be all gore. This works for me as I truly enjoy his latest film about the Nazis, roguish Jewish-American soldiers and a German actress turned spy. Yes, it is still bloody but I find maturity in the storytelling part. All the actors display a very commendable work here, from Brad Pitt down to Diane Kruger and Christoph Waltz. The scene involving a smoke and the images from the projector is both campy and memorable. That alone confirms that Tarantino’s on the helm. Verdict: probably one of the best films from Hollywood this year.
Friends who might appreciate it: Anybody who deserves a fun, honest-to-goodness film.
BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS
Glorietta 4, Cinema 2, December 12, 5:10pm
I can’t discuss the film without giving a short background on its director, Werner Herzog, who did an impressive Klaus Kinski film series like “Fitzcarraldo” and “Aguirre, Wrath of God”. My hunch then was that he always makes it a point to infuse nature with his work. His latest film starring Nicolas Cage is about a lousy police officer who has a knack for doing, err, bad things. He tolerates prostitution, he harasses senior citizens and he does drug negotiations. Backdrop for all of these misdoings is the post-Katrina New Orleans wherein all the wild animals may still be on the loose metaphorically. The film is a good character study and the direction is a bit slow for Nicolas Cage action vehicle but I won’t be surprised if the award-giving bodies will notice this one.
Friends who might appreciate it: Those who’ve seen “The Heart of Glass” and can make a hefty comparison between the two Herzog films.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Glorietta 4, Cinema 5, December 12, 8:15pm
This stop-motion animated film is based from Roald Dahl’s children’s novel. It tells the adventures and misadventures of Mr. Fox and his family against their rich neighbors. Voiced by Hollywood’s biggies including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and Owen Wilson and directed by one of my favorite deadpan humor directors Wes Anderson. It’s fresh and it’s entertaining and, as the title implies, simply fantastic. Watch it before the MMFF starts.
Friends who might appreciate it: I can say everybody, friends or foes alike.
SM Mall of Asia, IMAX Theater, December 19, 10:45am
Written and directed by James Cameron, the film is, first and foremost, a love story between two divergent worlds set against the backdrop of nature, greed and racial differences. First things first, I was overwhelmed by the visuals. Before grasping for air because of one beautiful scene, another one will just pop up out of nowhere. Watching it in 3D is one of the best reasons why some films are best enjoyed inside the cinema. I have to agree though that the material requires more complexity but since it's not Tim Burton or the like, that's forgiven. I liked it as it is. The film, for me, is a retrospective collection of other elements from Cameron's previous works. There's a little “Titanic”, a little “Terminator”, a little “True Lies” and a little “Aliens”. Again, it’s a must-watch.
Friends who might appreciate it: Those who haven’t seen any James Cameron film yet.