2016

Saving Sally

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Saving Sally took a big risk in bringing mixed media of Animation and realism into one colorful and awesome piece which is truly a breakthrough film entry of MMFF 2016 and perhaps the entire Pinoy film industry. As the Marketing says it all, the film took a decade to finish considering the limitations of technology we have here in PH. Well, I must say that it is so worth it. The film’s final output is very impressive. The story might a little bit lazy and familiar but the storyline was presented in a very creative manner. The interpretation will glue you with great visuals supported by a variety of symbols and metaphor of a very typical love story. Whats great about Saving Sally is that it gave the feels of watching an International film. Some may find it a little bit boring but when you begin to unfold the hidden meaning of the sequences, you begin to appreciate the extensive effort and brilliant minds of the people behind the best Pinoy Animated film to date. 4/5 stars.

2016

Vince & Kath & James

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When you feel like the film is generally shallow, you tend to be technical with the actors and actresses. Fortunately, Vince Kath and James was able to satisfy both. Star Cinema’s magic is once again shown in this RomComm movie inspired by a viral text-serye in Facebook. Well, I lowered my expectations on this one and I ended to be satisfied. The film is still shallow and might be too cheesy and “corny” for others but what I loved about the film is how the Director played with very relatable scenes appealing to a younger market’s perspective on love. Generally, this film is for millenials as it mirrors the generation of today especially in dealing matters about the heart. With a little and averagely justifiable conflict, the movie was able to cope up. The film’s strength is credited to its actors. This is a redeeming role of Julia Barreto for me. She has shown improvement in her acting. Ronnie Alonte on the other hand was good though his acting skills needs improvement. The biggest revelation is Joshua Garcia. He is just impressive. With the risk of new and fresh faces, the movie was able to tickle its audience at most parts. Still, a Star Cinema piece worth-watching. 4/5 stars.

2016

Die Beautiful

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Die Beautiful is a celebration of love and respect more than it is a film as it gave justice to the struggles and colorful lives of Transgenders and members of the LGBT as a whole. The movie is indeed heartwarming and inspiring as it focused on the realistic side that is generally relatable. I loved how the Director arranged the sequences and the moral lesson it is trying to impart to all of us. It may not be as wholesome as it should be for younger audiences but Die Beautiful will surely touch your heart and will tickle your emotions with striking scenes and engaging conversations. Well, the film’s major win is Paolo Ballesteros himself. I am just proud of what Paolo has achieved especially in acting. He is just a superstar in the making. I can’t point out any negative aspects of the film since even with absence of musical scoring on most scenes, the film was able to capture the emotions of both its actors & its audience. 5/5 stars.

2016

Seklusyon

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Heavy. Creepy. Dark. Spine-chilling. Brilliantly-crafted. Thought-proviking. Seklusyon is a breakthrough MMFF 2016 entry and perhaps Erik Matti’s best so far. This film is actually the best Pinoy horror-mystery that may actually a bit heavy to handle but surely is worth the watch. Seklusyon tackled a controversial topic about Religion and Faith and presented it in a very creative and symbollic format. The fear of the film is felt not because of the scary faces but because of the eerie and realistic approach and interpretation about the demons that surround us. Acted by good performers and supported with a very impressive sound engineering, the movie will surely please those fans of quality films minus the overrated screams inside the cinema. Aside from that, the movie’s strength lies in the production design. I am pretty amazed on the setting as it gave justice for a period film set-up. Truly, a world-class Pinoy film worthy of an international screening. Expect less of the Pinoy horror you expect and be ready to be impressed with an interesting storyline very rare in Pinoy film-making industry. Perfect 5 stars for this.

2016

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2

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Better and sensible plot than its predecessor. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: Forever is not enough never disappoints once again. If you are a fan of the first film, you will surely love this one. The story still evolve on the story of the well-established film producers but this time, they face a new challenge. I loved how the Director played with the real-life role of Eugene Domingo and the struggles of the film producers to please her considering a variety of factors. This time, the film found sense into one of the character’s back story. Also, the story shows metaphor of mainstream rommcomms nowadays. Aside from its tried and tested comedy formula, the film’s strength lies into its creative cinematography and engaging conversations and sequences. Not entirely spectacular nor inspiring but still a good movie to watch. Loved the characters too. By the way, Eugene’s acting here is good. Giving 4/5 stars.

2016

Office Christmas Party

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Just when Office Christmas Party becomes another non-sense Hollywood piece… Well actually it is still, but this time with a little depth and worth. I enjoyed the movie. I actually admire the whole plot. Be it non-sense and unecessary but the movie for me was able to pull-out some badass entertainment and a little encouraging lesson in the end. It is the Hangover – Corporate Version. Never thought to be satisfied with the kind of movie that is easy to digest yet meaningless generally. Typically, it has those R16 scenes to appeal with a more matured audience but the rest of the pieces are pretty satisfying at most times. Loved the comedic timing too. Forgetting cinematic flaws and technicalities, the Office Christmas Party is worth a round of popcorn. Nice to see Jennifer Aniston, TJ Miller and the rest of its underrated cast in one of the most hilarious Holiday offering in Hollywood nowadays. Giving it 3.5/5 stars.

 

2016

Moana

 

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In order to know where you’re going, you need to know where you come from. Disney’s Moana is an animated film inspired by the actual story of the people in the South Pacific in the height of the explorations in the sea. For me, this is one of Disney’s finest and rightful to be one of the most memorable animated film ever produced in history. This family-friendly adventure flick will please your eyes with great and impressive visuals, engaging conversations, good story phasing and some really heartwarming lessons. There is so much to love about the film. From its very refreshing Polynesian-inspired theme down to very lovable characters of Moana, Maui and not to mention the chicken and the pig. Aside from its child-friendly formula, Moana is a musical masterpiece also. With its very nice songs and numbers, the film won’t bore you even for a second. Loved the songs so much that I wanna listen to it every time. The movie is just fascinating to watch from beginning to end. The adventure beyond the sea will let your imaginations fly. Definitely worth-watching many times. Giving it perfect 5 stars.

2016

The Super Parental Guardians

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If you are in for some pure fun, The Super Parental Guardians is indeed for you. Star Cinema never fails to bring another blockbuster comedy film in the tried and tested Vice Ganda & Coco Martin formula. Despite the movie being a complete non-sense, the film is actually a fun ride from beginning to end. Aside from humor, the movie also has some good action sequences and cinematography. The movie is well-dressed up as well. Never minding its obvious cinematic flaws, the movie is worth for some decent laughs. The addition of the 2 child wonders was a good choice too. They complimented well with Vice and Coco. Giving it 4/5 stars. PS: The Beauty and the Bestie is still the best Vice G. for me.

2016

Allied

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A one-of-a-kind romance about two spies falling in love in the midst of World War 2. A subtle romantic masterpiece with decent performances from Pitt & Cotillard.
Allied is a war romance that may lack character build-up but ended up on the right pace with a little shock. This period film was justified well from costumes, production design, props & setting. The film geared towards more of the love story than the action. The pacing at start may a little be slow but the sequencing was done with the right suspense and build-up towards that climax. Allied will bring you to a variety of emotions as it tell the unique love story of the characters. Actually, I fell in love with the film. Some may not like it because of its running time and some boring scenes but I see a masterpiece in Allied – an old-fashioned war romance that might not be as spectacular and cheesy as other films, but this surely is a movie with depth and classic touch. 4/5 stars.

2016

Working Beks

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Working Beks is indeed one of Viva Films’ sensible films to date. I loved the film. Perhaps, the best reality-based Pinoy film about Gays ever made. Loved the variety of the 5 gays in the movie that became mirrors of what the world is all about in our own eyes. The film is a celebration of love and respect. I admire how the director was able to put into pieces the five different stories into one powerful and inspiring piece. Scenes are simple. Lines and scenarios are pretty much relatable as well. The conflicts shown in the film were also very realistic and an eye-opener thing. From the issue of AIDS, discrimination and being true to ourselves, Working Best was able to hit those spots with maturity and even right amount of comedy. Acting-wise, I am pretty impressed with TJ Trinidad, EA Guzman & Prince Stefan on this one. The addition of John Lapus & Joey Paras added light feels as well. I just find the ending to be a bit off. The director did not how to end the film. The ending should have been better for me. Despite a very hanging ending, I still loved the whole film. Giving it 4/5 stars.