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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Movie Digest # 079

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 3, March 2, 8:35pm

There are two things happening in the film. It started as a simple love triangle story between grade school classmates Kathy, Tommy and Ruth (grown-ups are played by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley respectively). Everything seems to be normal until one concerned teacher shares with her students about the “experiment” happening in the special school. That leads us to the other aspect of the movie. It turns out the special class is composed of kids that are cloned from other DNA. What I appreciate about the film is that it downplays the science part most of the time. It doesn’t try to be controversial or even informative and the key characters are treated as normal citizens. Performances are good, the leads provide a different dimension to the way we view clones. The direction doesn’t try to be loud; it stays normal as possible and does its best to pacify the already disturbing theme. I believe this film is underrated and deserves more nods than it already got.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who wish to see the next Spiderman’s previous movies.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 4, March 2, 10:35pm

It’s always fun to watch a popcorn action movie with Liam Neeson on it. Just like “Taken”, this one’s equally enjoyable. There’s identity switch, there’s Berlin, there’s a car chase, there’s an explosion and a twist that I could have guessed.

Friends who might appreciate it: I really don’t know.

Glorietta 4, Cinema 6, March 4, 5:00pm

I’m not sure how Philip K. Dick the adaptation is but as I see it, it’s a film about love, angels without wings and NYC. I was probably in the mood for romance when I saw this one. Cheesy it could be to the cynics but there are a lot of things to root for other than it being a love story. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt provide a convincing couple who is trapped in a dilemma that seems irresolvable. Mr. Damon appears to be getting impressive projects since he started (even Eastwood’s “Hereafter” which got mixed reviews). I believe that this film project would be cheesier or would look more Hollywood if given to another actor. There’s a part in the movie, apparently the highlight, where the city of New York takes the center stage. The filmmaker or the writer is, no doubt, a fan of the city.

Friends who might appreciate it: Office folks who know Adjustment Types by heart.

Greenbelt 3, Cinema 1, March 7, 7:00pm

Compared to poverty porn that made headlines to the international scene, this Pinoy indie embraces a more goody path. It’s a tale about the seedy area in Tondo called Hapilan, its juvenile delinquents and the passion for football. The intension is there and it’s loud and clear. In fact, I watched this film as part of a drive to raise money for the so-called barefoot football players of Tondo. This is pretty much simpler than Jim Libiran’s first feature length but I don’t think the storytelling works very well given its candor. The football matches are a bit anti-climactic and not as exciting as it should be. I have an impression that the director is not really a football fan. The drama part could stand a chance proven by the teary eyed patrons inside the cinema. I am not sure if casting is the culprit but let me enumerate. Leading the cast is real life priest Fr. Jose whose story is the basis of the film. He may be a good actor but I am not a fan of that concept wherein the real character is required to undergo the whole process of recreating the emotions he’s gone through. The other off for me is the young lead who is cast as a Muslim living in Tondo. His accent betrays him big time. For an average Pinoy film, this is more luxurious as evident in the toned cinematography. I would always support this film primarily for the cause.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who pretend to like soccer like me.

Cines Hoyts, Sala 1, March 29, 8:00pm

This is Sofia Coppola’s least talky film. It’s about a Hollywood superstar who is living an empty life despite the popularity and the glitz. Being so quiet most of the scenes, this represents a different storytelling from a not-so-mainstream American filmmaker. I didn’t like it at first. I was turned off by the resolution in the end where the lead character finds solace somewhere (hence the title). I thought that the title should be altered to “Nowhere” as I was expecting the single dad angle to be resolved. On second thought, that’s the point of the film. The breath of fresh air means a relief from the emptiness and nothingness. That somewhere could be nowhere but for sure, it’s a place for the main character to be free.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who are asking “Where the hell is Stephen Dorff?”

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