Asian Cinema : The Philippine Movies Thread

The Philippine Movies Thread

So after realizing that I usually get cricket replies whenever I post my so-called reviews of Philippine films, and also to have a similar thread as that of the Iranian movies thread (someone bump that thread soon please), and taking from sitenoise's suggestion, I've decided to just start a separate thread to post on the different Philippine movies there are, recommendable or not. I know that the Philippines isn't really a treasure trove when it comes to movies because it has been influenced by Western culture over time, but there still remains a lot of movies to be seen from the country which we can boast of. Or not.

I'll try to be more serious with my posts this time because ehem, this is ANOTHER THREAD which can open (or close) your doors to explore Philippine cinema.

Anyone, particularly clayton who seems to be well-versed with Philippine culture, is free to post on this thread. I would suggest though to put the title of the movie on the subject for easier navigation.

I'll be more than happy to have discussions with everyone.


Between Mind and Heart-

ON THE JOB (2013)

Do I recommend this? Yes, definitely.

This isn't an overrated film. It may have only gotten a 7 here on IMDb but people's praises for this film (including the international audience) is well-earned. To some extent. I have just one but substantial complaint over this which I will dwell on later.

Erik Matti, the director, has shown he has potential. Starring the country's most versatile actors (Joel Torre, Michael de Mesa, Michael Flores) with some of the country's most sought-after leading men (Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Rayver Cruz), what came out was one of the best Philippine action movies ever released.

The story is based on real events. And if it weren't, I'm very sure it was patterned over the ills of society present in the Philippines today.

The synopsis:
Joel Torre (Tatang) and Gerald Anderson(Daniel) plays two "imprisoned" criminals who still enjoys liberty and earning money as gun-for-hires. Technically they should be behind bars, but you know the power of money, they can buy their liberty. (Yeah, kudos to these jailguards). They work for Thelma (Vivian Velez) who takes orders from an upper echelon who unsurprisingly is a politician. You know what powerful men with so much money do to protect their "business". Piolo Pascual plays Francis, an NBI agent, who happens to have a father-in-law (Michael de Mesa) who's a protector/coddler.

If there's one person that surprised me big time, its Joey Marquez. He's one of the country's comediennes, he has starred in some family sitcoms, just fooling around, etc. and here comes this. I never thought he could pull the drama and the action (despite his huge body built, he can surely run). Even in the crying scenes, he was at par. Piolo Pascual who?

Now let's go to my one but substantial complaint: Plot development is not proportional to runtime. Its got an almost 2 hours runtime, yet it only centered on the main plot which begun the moment the film started. Sure there were some developments but for a 1.53 hour long film, a lot should've happened. With OTJ, there was a lot of drama, character psychology, and of course, action, but the plot was basically just over the place. It could be squeezed down to a 1-hour film if they really wanted to. Not that there's any irrelevant scene, but you know how much have happened visually and you're still on the same place? Another one but just a minor complaint. Why Gerald Anderson to play the criminal role? He just looks so handsome and clean that he doesn't look like a thug really.

Having said that, there's nothing else I can complain of. Especially with the soundtrack. Erik Matti sure knows how to coordinate his music with his scenes. They're jiving.

Between Mind and Heart-

Re: ON THE JOB (2013)

Given that this is the one that has met with most enthusiasm from friends and acquaintances onto whom I’ve tried to push some contemporary Filipino films, it’s probably a good pick with which to kick your thread off.

I completely get where you’re coming from with your comment on the runtime - I agree that it could have been a lot tighter – but I wouldn’t go as far as to say Matti could have got the job done in an hour! I think there’s much more than the basic crime drama – the core of the movie is really two dual stories running in tandem along the same plot, both involving the relationship that a brash and ambitious young man has with a mentor/surrogate father figure. The title of the film was almost reminiscent of a ‘bring-your-son-to-work’ day at the office.

As for Gerald Anderson being too clean to play the thug, I never felt that at all, although he was an unknown face to me. Piolo Pascual, on the other hand, seemed to be completely out of place – way too much of a pretty boy to be a cop.

At any rate, Matti’s next film Honor Thy Father (continuing with the paternal theme, I wonder?) is firmly on my most-anticipated list. I note that a Michiko Yamamoto pops up with writing credits again – she also got a credit for the story on the sitenoise praised Norte, the End of History.

Re: ON THE JOB (2013)

Hi clayton. :) Yeah, I'm looking forward to the day I post my review of Honor Thy Father here. I've also been anticipating for it.

Between Mind and Heart-

Graceland (2012)

Graceland (2012) plays off two principal characters that are almost at opposite ends of a moral spectrum – Menggie Cobarrubios is a corrupt politician whose casual vice is buying, drugging and sexually abusing pubescent girls as young as his own daughter, while Arnold Reyes plays his driver, who silently disdains of his employer's activities, and who devotes himself to prayer, his dying wife and his daughter. When a case of mistaken identity results in the driver’s daughter being kidnapped for ransom, the driver knows his lowly status will render his own child worthless and thus doomed, and realises that the only way to save her is to create the impression that the kidnappers also have his boss’s daughter – and so begins a desperate cat-and-mouse race against time.

Essentially, this is a morality play, as the driver is forced to compromise his values, and the consequences of those compromises reverberate beyond his control. The film clocks in at only 84 minutes, but there’s so much going in on there that it really is a deceptively lean affair – it is economical storytelling at its finest, and a film that I preferred over two quite highly praised crime dramas of the following year, On the Job and Metro Manila.

Re: Graceland (2012)

Hello clayton, just finished watching Graceland and I can say I understand where you're coming from when you said you prefer this over OTJ and Metro Manila. As of now, I'm leaning towards your judgment because I've had some issues with OTJ's runtime but I'm still torn between Graceland and Metro Manila because both have similar elements. Although I have to say Graceland is a very good thriller because I was hooked the whole time.

You summarized the movie well in one paragraph, so I'm not gonna even try summarizing the film with so many words. However, I had one part where I was confused. In your summary, you said "...the driver knows his lowly status will render his own child worthless and thus doomed, and realises that the only way to save her is to create the impression that the kidnappers also have his boss’s daughter – and so begins a desperate cat-and-mouse race against time."
If I got it correctly, it was the kidnappers--with whom he was in collaboration with (at first) who made the impression that they got the politician's daughter?????

Shout out to Menggie Cobarrubios. You know I admire people like him. They're the type of people who no one recognizes, yet the movie industry won't be complete without them. He usually plays the good loving dad, or the corrupt politician. And he can pull both off.

This is one of the best Philippine crime/thrillers I've seen. Highly Highly recommended. And the cliffhanger ending was a bang.

Between Mind and Heart-

Re: Graceland (2012)

You're probably correct on the plot detail - maybe "maintain the impression" would have been more accurate than "create the impression", but ya don't wanna give too much away

Re: The Philippine Movies Thread

Seeing as this thread had its genesis in other threads listing people’s Top 10s from different nations, I thought I might post here a list of the films from the Philippines that have tickled my fancy – I certainly don’t hold it up as a list of the 10 greatest that the Philippines has to offer, but I do like to think that there’s at least one gem for everyone in here.

Ekstra (2013)
Crying Ladies (2003)
Foster Child (2007)
Burlesk Queen (1977)
Kinatay (2009)
Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag (1975)
Graceland (2012)
The Road (2011)
Virgin People (1984) (because no list of pinoy cinema would be complete without at least one bomba film!)
On the Job (2013)
That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)

For those that like things a little less conventional, you could go 16mm with Perfumed Nightmare aka Mababangong bangungot (1977), or explore the digital world of Khavn.

And in the separate category of “Outsiders Looking In”, the following films are made by non-Filipinos, but were either made in the Philippines, or deal with the Filipino OFW experience:

Metro Manila (2013)
Pinoy Sunday (2009) – with a Malaysian director and writer, set in Taipei, and almost entirely in Tagalog, this comedy is as international as it is funny.
Ilo Ilo (2013)

Hope y’all find a bit of grist for the mill in the above, and I’d love to hear your comments on them, and suggestions of what I’m missing out on here.

Re: The Top Philippine Movies

Hello again clayton, I really do appreciate you helping me out on the Philippine thread. . I've been procrastinating again and I still hadn't come up with my own list. I promised myself I'd start that thread soon and I'll copy your list there but gah, I'm really sorry it took me forever to start it.

Here's mine:

Wait, before I write my own list, I want to say that my list isn't really a favorites list. Because if I put my favorites there, I'd put GIRL BOY BAKLA TOMBOY as one of the top because it was made for pure laughs!

My list comprises of movies which I think are representative of Philippine culture, Philippine society, and Philippine movie-making in general. Or to borrow sitenoise's term, the film's echo.

My list mostly lacks films from before 1980s because I don't know, I still haven't mustered seeing a lot of them in the same way I've been procrastinating on Ozu and Kurosawa in Japan which are considered to be legends.

If you're looking for classical Filipino movies, the names to look for are Lino Brocka and Peque Gallaga. I've seen some of their movies but it didn't register much so I can't really recommend one.

Now here goes my list:

First would be JOSE RIZAL (1998) story of the Philippines' national hero. This movie showcases Philippine talent in acting, while getting History lessons. The almost 3 hour runtime didn't discourage me because of its content and well-execution.

Second would be DEKADA '70(2002) I've said this before and I'll say this again. The Philippines is a land of drama actors. And this one is one of those movies where you get the tears falling everywhere while getting history lessons(this time, its set on Martial law era).

Third would be THE FLOR CONTEMPLACION STORY (1995) this movie shows the plight of Filipinos who work overseas for a living. This has also been a celebrated true-to-life story of an OFW sentenced to death abroad, with a themesong that up to this day still plays in my head.

Fourth would be TANGING YAMAN (2000) is considered to be one the best Philippine family dramas of all time.

Fifth would be FENG SHUI (2004) Aquino can't act. That's a given. But she was lucky to have bagged the lead role in this horror movie that made I've classified as in the levels of "Ringu" and "Ju-on". That says something.

Sixth would be MILA (2001) Soriano is one of my favorite actresses. This is a movie of unsung heros who live their lives for others. This is an inspiring, tear-jerking movie.

Seventh would be EKSTRA (2013) Santos is another favorite of mine and she just shone in this movie even brighter in all her other mainstream movies.

Eight would be NOY(2010) Martin injected the heat of Philippine elections with this, indie/documentary while incorporating footages of the 2010 national elections. I thought the movie would just show pure election propaganda, but it showed a story of--well, the usual story we see about the Philippines: poverty and crime.

Note: I wanted to put Norte here but something tells me I am still about to see a Lav Diaz film that will make it into my top list.

I'll put my comments to your list on my next post.

Between Mind and Heart-

Re: Your List

Thanks for your list. The thing I love about it is that there's one film that I absolutely love (Ekstra), one film that on my really-want-to-see list (Noy), and a whole bunch of films that I've never, or only vaguely, heard of to explore

Re: The Philippine Movies Thread

You've got a solid list there, clayton.

Ekstra--it also made it on my list. Cheers!
Crying Ladies-- I had the feeling it is funny but I don't know why I still didn't watch it. 😱
Foster Child-its also on my to watch list but I've been prioritizing Thy Womb from Brillante's filmography but I really can't find it.
Kinatay-I really didn't like it. :(
Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng Liwanag--saw this on TV a million years ago so I really forgot all about it.
Metro Manila--loved it!

The Road and Graceland--you enticed me to it. I'll put these on my watchlist.

Ilo Ilo- another overdue-for-watching to me.

That Thing Called Tadhana-it wasn't for me. :( I got annoyed at it, not to mention the amount of slang here.

Its such a shame that you, a non-Filipino, probably knows more about Philippine movies more than me. :) Well, that's why I made this thread. We can all share our movies here for posterity! :)

Between Mind and Heart-

Re: Brillante Mendoza

Thy Womb is the film from Brillante Mendoza that I really want to see the most - particularly given that the region and people seem to be so under-represented in Filipino cinema. I was given a subtitled copy with a really murky print, but I've been putting off watching it because I don't think it will do it justice.

As for the two from Mendoza that I put on my list, I suspect that the reason those particular two made the list is that they're the only two I've seen! I don't blame you for not liking Kinatay, it's not very "likeable". I felt ill for days afterwards, but I do think it was a very good film.

In a lot of ways, Foster Child is a very similar film to Kinatay (but please don't let that put you off!). While they have very, very different subject matter, both are set over the course of a single day, utilise long tracking shots, focus constantly on the silent emotional turmoil of a single character, and explore and subvert their genres - whereas in Kinatay Mendoza skewers exploitation horror, in Foster Child he plays with the structure of a weepy drama.

Re: Brillante Mendoza

Don't worry, I'll still watch Thy Womb despite hearing that its similar to Kinatay. ;) I like the premise of Foster Child, as in most of his movies, but the problem I usually have with Brillante is his execution. I've said before that I have a love-hate relationship with him. I sometimes love him, but most of the time I don't understand him. I usually post comments like, "WTH is going on with his mind??" Yet, his films are still on my to watchlist.

I really love the trailer for Graceland and hearing your review of it, I'll look for it ASAP and post my thoughts on it.

Let's see who watches Thy Womb first and make sure to post that review here! :)

Between Mind and Heart-


Guys, you can just post your votes for your top 10 Philippine movies list here because I was afraid that if I make another thread with that title, people might say, "since when did the Asian Cinema Board" turn into a "Philippine Movies" Board?

Between Mind and Heart-


you can just post your votes for your top 10 Philippine movies list here - plsletitrain
I have simply no Philippine favourites because I haven't rated any film from the Philippines.

Could you perhaps recommend a Philippine martial arts fantasy or history film on youtube? Historically set or martial arts fantasy films (which are usually set in pseudo-history of the respective culture - and like fairy tales they tell a lot about the respective culture) are my gate into foreign cultures.

--- each brain develops its own preferences ---


Hmmm....Philippine martial arts fantasy, can't really think of something at the moment. To be honest, the Philippines is not yet capable of producing fantasy films that it can boast of because probably out of budgetary constraints. There were some attempts in the past to make some animated films but they were not really that good. Fantasy, I can think of some, but I can't recommend them. Martial arts, well, action films there are a lot, but I think you're referring to trademark martial arts like the Hongkong ones? Not really, most are gunfights and short fistfights.

History...My no. 1 film on my list is a history film. But I think I've just thought of something that will really suit you. It has both history and war in it. Heneral Luna (2015). It has been greatly received by critics, although personally I have some question mmarks on the the accuracy of the "history" part because it wasn't taught in our books.

Here is the trailer:

I hope you like it. :)

Between Mind and Heart-


I think you're referring to trademark martial arts like the Hongkong ones? - plsletitrain

No, I'm thinking of martial arts in the sense of historical fight styles: with swords, lances, bows, cross-bows, horses. Like in (trying to refer to well known Hollywood films about historical legends or novels) The Three Musketeers (1973), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), or 300 (2006).

My favourites in this genre are (ordered by date):
The Crusades (1935)
Aleksandr Nevskiy (1938)
Ivan Groznyy (1945)
Ivan Groznyy. Skaz vtoroy: Boyarskiy zagovor (1958)
El Cid (1961)
Kings of the Sun (1963)
Asoka (2001)
Ying xiong (2002)
King Arthur (2004)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Tamnaan somdet phra Naresuan maharat: Phaak prakaat itsaraphaap (2007)
Chi bi (2008)
Lang zai ji (2009)
Hong men yan chuan qi (2011)
Na-neun wang-i-ro-so-i-da (2012)
Rurôni Kenshin: Meiji kenkaku roman tan (2012)
Yang jia jiang (2013)
Hae-jeok: Ba-da-ro gan san-jeok (2014)

--- each brain develops its own preferences ---


I liked Looks well made and interesting to me. But it's recent history. It seems to be about the the Philippine-American War, which is part of the world-wide struggle for independence.

I prefer to learn about cultures via their legends, which have a more individual feel and tap more into the culture's subconscious, the mores and the ethics.

--- each brain develops its own preferences ---


Hmmm..tough one. I think I get what you're meaning when you say about the fantasy/legend types, I can think of at least 3 of it. But I don't recommend them. 😞

Elanor, do you dig some comedy? Well, I knew you like comedies but I have this movie in mind, its a comedy but I'm skeptical you won't find it funny but ugh, I'll give this one try maybe, just maybe, you'll find it erm, funny. (But why am I getting the feeling you'll find it funny not in the way that I intended it to be lol)

Here is one of the funniest Philippine movies I've seen with some lol-ish use of supernatural powers.

Pedro Penduko:Return of the Comeback

Pedro Penduko is part of our folklore as a savior.

There's also Darna (like Wonderwoman) but I'm not so sure if I can recommend them. 😞

Between Mind and Heart-


Isn't Lipad Darna Lipad supposed to be one of cinema's great lost masterpieces?



I'm....not so sure about that.

Btw, if there's any comic book character I'm glad to watch.... (to be honest, I really feel awkward watching 'em all--I look like this 😒) But I like Dyesebel. Especially Alice Dixson. She's so gorgeous. Who's your favorite Dyesebel?

Between Mind and Heart-


I have to confess I've never indulged in Dyesebel, but if I had, well ... Vilma is my vintage.


Thanks for recommending "Pedro Penduko:Return of the Comeback ".

Unfortunately the link doesn't work for me (YT says: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by ABS-CBN Corporation.) and I didn't find another version with English subtitles on YT. I also didn't find any DVD with Pedro Penduko on Amazon.

It seems that there are very few Filipino DVDs on Amazon. The one I found with good reviews is "Norte, the End of History" Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (2013). I must say I feel not very inclined to buy it as my own life is rather taxing at the moment.

--- each brain develops its own preferences ---


Uh-oh, I always knew I was dumb but I just made a new low dumb when I posted the link. (I should never underestimate the powers of the admin). I thought we were just engaging in our own simple talk here. I forgot, this is the internet. Anyone can lurk. Lesson learned, next time I recommend something on YT, I'll send it via PM. 😎 Or can admins' powers reach until PMs? lol.

Anyway, I'm saddened you didn't get a chance to view the movie on that link. I was actually waiting for your feedback on it, whether positive or negative. lol. I have the movie on CD with me, I wish I can show it to you (and tell you why it looks funny to us Filipinos) but we're from different sides of the globe so.....

As for Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan. I haven't read any negative review of it yet so if you have that extra money already, try to give it a try. :) I loved that film, I would've placed it in my top 10 but I'm still on my Lav Diaz quest (finding his movies are a pain in the ass)--both online and on video stores-- so I can't really say with certainty if it is Lav's best or I've yet to see another.

Between Mind and Heart-


I don't know if I'm allowed to critique this "movie" because I bailed out after 20 minutes of it. It was irredeemable.

Movie is directed by Quark Henares. It stars Derek Ramsay, Shaina Magdayao and Iza Calzado..all of whose acting prowesses have already been tested and proven.

This should have been a made-for-tv movie. Or a plain sitcom. I think it was a hurried decision to come up with this "movie". It tried so much it was just too bad. Cheesy. Over-the-top.

This movie was released at the heat of Philippine elections. I never saw it advertised until I saw its poster on the theaters. It. was. really. bad.

Story is about an aspiring senator (Derek Ramsay) who employs a strategist (Shaina Magdayao) to boost his campaign. Iza Calsado is a rival with whom the senator had a previous relationship. That's just about where I stopped. Or right along the scenes where the strategist begins to fall for the politician. So I kinda have these premonitions that watching this movie will bring me nowhere.

You know there are movies where even if you've only seen a part of it, yet you get that very very strong intuition that nothing substantive will happen in the latter parts? Yeah, that's what happened to me here. And don't even mention the supporting actors who just failed to save the movie. The plot was quirky and funny. Supposedly. But it was all wasted. All because of, I don't know, I blame the director for it. He tried so much (or he just plainly lacks the talent) that what came of it was a poor attempt to score a laugh or cheer from the audience.



Silong (2015)

This movie was less talked about, at least for me, so I was overwhelmed and impressed after watching this. Story is unoriginal, what with a thousand psychological thrillers we've seen, but the execution was still as brand new. I even think that me being clueless what this movie is about made the *turn of events* more remarkable.

What I like about the movie is that there's just two main characters (played by Piolo Pascual and Rhian Ramos), yet we are engaged in their world set in a vintage mansion located in some far-flung hill or whatever. We are then tried to see into their pasts, see a window to their soul, then boom, one character or another acts strangely, then stranger, then we get surprised in the end. Its not that long, with some sexy steamy scenes (what with Rhian Ramos'long legs getting its own spotlight) plus the story is engaging.

My verdict: Recommended.


Bakit Lahat Ng Gwapo May Boyfriend (2016)

English translation: Why do all handsome men have boyfriends?

Spoiler alert: No good or objective review will ever come out of this because this co-stars Paolo Ballesteros 😍😘and I'll just talk about how I gushed watching him in the movie. lol.

No seriously, I'll try to "review" the film.

I love the film, but not because of the story or the production aspects. Actually, to be blunt about it, if Paolo Ballesteros didn't star this film, I would've trashed it. No, I don't think I'll ever lay my eyes on this. But because it has Paolo baby in it (lol), I endured the runtime.

I'm not fond of Anne Curtis' acting. I have nothing against her. I just don't like her acting. Same with Dennis Trillo. I'm sure both of them can act, but you know that certain unexplainable feeling that you just can't seem to like them even if I think there's every reason to like them. To each his own, I guess.

To be honest, and I'm being fair by saying this, Paolo brought the film together. He was the "fun" in the film. Because this is a film that's as predictable as Anne Curtis' acting, there's a little reason for one to enjoy this film. Story is about Kylie (Anne Curtis) whose ex-boyfriends have all been gays. His bestfriend, who happens to be a closet gay, Benj (Paolo Ballesteros) reconnects with his childhood bestfriend, Diego (Dennis Trillo). Kylie and Benj are wedding coordinators and they were chosen by Diego to plan his wedding. Benj tries to figure if Diego is also gay and does everything he can to unleash his gay self. But in the process, Kylie and Diego becomes close to each other and yes, here's the part where you just fast forward it or you can go for a bathroom break and you wouldn't miss anything.

Paolo was just so good in his role as a closet gay. Regardless of his sexual orientation (I love him even if he's gay or not or whatever) he was just so good and he gave justice to the role. I was just laughing so hard everytime he opens his mouth. I wish this will open more doors for him. He can be a good starrer for rom-coms and sitcoms.

My verdict: You need to be a fan of the artists in the film for you to love this film. Otherwise, it's just one of those movies you watch on a Saturday night out with friends or cousins. Or on a family reunion when one can switch being busy catching up with their relatives while watching something play on the TV.


Re: Bakit Lahat Ng Gwapo May Boyfriend (2016)

I had to Google a pic of the guy to see what's got you gushing. Seems a number of them are of him made up to look like a woman--or else they're fan photos making comments that he might look better as a woman. He's better looking than Anne Curtis it seems. lol , sometimes this is all a movie can offer. I've watched my share of movies just so I could look at someone.

Paolo Ballesteros

Yes, he's gifted with good looks that he can actually pass up as a handsome guy and a beautiful lady at the same time. But I prefer him being his gay self. Just carefree and witty with his lines.

Actually (as if you asked; but you know you're the only person who listens to me so I'll just talk even if you didn't ask lol) it took me a long time before I became his fan. I'm usually apathetic to actors and it will take long before I get to love an actor. He need not be a good crier, he just needs to be a good person. I've known his existence since he started in the industry way back his teen years (he's 30 plus now) but it's just lately when I've been watching his videos on youtube as a noontime show host where they get to interview Filipino masses. I can just observe his being humble and down-to-earth. He's a real person with nothing to hide. I can see his sincerity. Add to that his sense-of-humor that is so just.....I know we're meant for each other! Bwahahahahahaha!

No seriously, sitenoise, thanks. I've always known you're someone who loves learning and exploring other people's inputs but I really appreciate you taking the time to hear about a fangirl's crazy mind. I'll try to be more serious with my so-called reviews next time. Paolo's starrer film "Die Beautiful" is showing soon in the country and I hope I get to review it properly by then. lol.


Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016)

Watched fewer filipino movies in 2016 than last year as less films seems to me leaked with english subs unfortunately, but I did catch Barcelona: A Love Untold:

1. Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016, Olivia M. Lamasan)
--- The same old OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) love story in new wrapping in form of the lovely surroundings of Barcelona, Spain, where the #1 love team of Daniel Padilla & Kathryn Bernardo can yet again fall in love. So yeah, typical romance flick from the Philippines. Nothing new, nothing original, but a serviceable mainstream love story where they in a wholesome way exploit the beauty of Bernardo to no end.

Re: Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016)

Yeah, totally agree with your review. That's why I never bothered with it despite the continuous marketing of the powers-that-be that this is not your ordinary mainstream lovey-dovey movie and that Kathryn and Daniel has both matured in this, etc. etc. etc.


Re: Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016)

Yeah, it's mainstream, so they'll always play it safe so not to jeopardize their prize possession in Kathniel. At least they didn't make it as cheesy as many of StarCinema's other romances. Still safe, safe, safe....

The Third Party (2016)

The Third Party (2016)
Sorry, no. Girl meets her ex-boyfriend, only to also meet his BOYfriend. Pretty cheesy stuff. Zanjoe Marudo, once a TV bad boy, now playing homosexual for the nth time, with Sam Milby, who always looked like he'd fit such a part, joining him, while us heterosexuals mourn over Angel Locsin's youth and sex appeal gone.

Re: The Third Party (2016)

I didn't watch it (and no plans of watching) but yes, I know its cheesy. Especially if you've got Sam Milby there. Angel Locsin cannot pull off a rom-com. She's best left in a drama where her drama prowess is showcased.



I know that basically everyone here has had enough of my Paolo Ballesteros fangirling that its entirely a given that I will like this movie no matter what. But I'm not saying this just because I'm his fan, but Paolo really nailed it big time. He waited 16 looong years for this point in his career to come and his time has arrived. Its his time to SHINE.

I wasn't prepared for what I saw. I only have the trailers to observe and from that, I took that the movie would be a light-hearted movie filled with gay humor. Yes, it was light-hearted to some extent and yes, it was filled with colorful gay humor. But what I didn't expect is that it was filled with drama! Wow, give Paolo comedy and he can make you laugh. Give him a make-up kit and he'll transform himself almost perfectly into international celebrities such as Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Miley Cyrus, etc. Give him some drama scene, and he’ll give you that crying look. It was so surreal watching him do all those roles in one movie.

What might be the biggest barrier for this movie to finally reach its peak sales is that it is Rated-13 by the cinema evaluation board. Which means only those 13 up can watch it. And rightfully so. And because I’m a 12 year old fangirl who believes that her idol is a virgin who only exudes innocence and sweethearts, I wanted to scream “Paolo don’t do that!” when that scene of him doing simulated butt sex was being shown. For a while I wanted to cover my eyes and ears and did not want to hear and see him making that face of someone so immersed in sex the first time. And I didn’t want to hear him say those profane words. But then I thought to myself that this is part of his career calibration. He needs to do all these stuff, no matter how unconventional of him, because the role calls for it. And then the next scene follows, he was being raped . And there, he once again proved that he is a versatile actor. That he has so much more to him than his looks.

The movie tells the story (and struggles) of Trisha Echevarria (Paolo Ballesteros), a transgender who was disowned by his rich father and survived on his own by joining beauty contests. He adopted a young girl and raised the family by the meager amounts he get from joining these pageants. Typical struggles of transgenders were given emphasis in the film: discrimination from the family, from the community, and from men. The title is Die Beautiful because it shows his life in throwback form: he starts dead here. He instructed his bestfriend that in case he dies, he should be shown beautiful in his coffin. He has to be “someone” in all the 7 days of his wake.

I have to give a shout-out to the other lead star in the film: Christian Bables. He was perfect in his role as the bestfriend of Trisha. I never heard of him before and seeing him here, wow, the guy has potential! He should win Best Supporting Actor.

If Paolo doesn’t win Best Actor in this Metro Manila Film Festival, I say sabotage and I’m waging waaaaaaaaaaarrrrr!!!!!



For a nice catholic girl, you watch some racy movies! 😂😂




Thanks for the review - this one looks like it doesn't deserve to be thrown unseen into the My Amnesia Girl basket!

If Paolo doesn’t win Best Actor in this Metro Manila Film Festival, I say sabotage and I’m waging waaaaaaaaaaarrrrr!!!!!
Sounds a bit harsh ... can't you just have a Senate enquiry? I take it that the fact film played at Tokyo a few months back won't prevent it from picking up acting awards at MMFF?


Haha! Well, yes of course Paolo Ballesteros not winning the Best Actor Award in the MMFF is an issue of NATIONAL CONCERN for me so yes, it deserves its own Senate inquiry.

Honestly, one can't be certain. This present committee at the MMFF is a species of its own. The usual "suki" of MMFF movies such as the tried and tested Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto, Mano Po movies were all declined. So while I'm optimistic and of course, one can't discount Paolo Ballesteros' portrayal here as short of a Best Actor award, I don't know if his Tokyo win will give him some more credit than the others.

This is actually the first time I cared about the MMFF to be honest. lol.

But to be honest, I'm interested to watch almost all the movies in this year's MMFF. Except for the Vince and Kath and James which is Star Cinema's $$$$ entry. But I really have to push Die Beautiful's ticket sales that I have to sacrifice watching the other entries. The things I do for fangirling. 😱

Hey clayton, honestly most movies in the MMFF are worth a watch. If any of these films are showing in theaters near you, give it a try. :)



The update that no one asked for from me:

Last night was the MMFF Awards night.

Paolo won Best Actor!

And Christian Bables (the one I also wished to win the Best Supporting Actor) also won! :)))

And Die Beautiful won the Audience choice award (same as with the Tokyo Film Fest). :)))

Words can't explain how happy I am.

Moment of Peace-


Congrats! Here's hoping it doesn't languish unsubtitled for years to come.

Honor Thy Father (2015)


So much has been said about John Lloyd Cruz's acting prowess. I think its no question that he can bring all the tears and the emotion in every scene. This movie is one of them.

Erik Matti starts to impress me. He might just make it into my favorite directors list.

Having said that, the movie is not one for the lists. At least for me, that is. The reason being, story-wise, we've seen it all. And it didn't help that it had a near-2 hour runtime. From the start I think I know where the movie will lead me to. I'll make a summary and you decide for yourself:

The story is about the unfortunate plight that struck the family headed by Edgar (JLC). His wife, Kaye (Meryll Soriano) got herself into trouble by engaging in a scam (which was unknown to her to be a scam) started by his own father. His father died (committed suicide or probably killed--the movie wasn't clear on that) and so the creditors went after her. Their life savings were used to pay up but were still insufficient. They started getting death threats, creditors were harassing them here and there, they got cases filed against them, so Edgar was forced to bring their daughter to his family in a mountain province and seek help there. His own family earns by mining and digging earth to find gold (gold digging??? Gong! lol).

Kaye was involved in a sectarian religion called The Church of Yeshua which collects massive amounts of tithes. Edgar sees this religion as a money-making scheme and although he supports his wife, he starts to question the sincerity of the church leader. They tried to borrow money from the Bishop but was refused. Edgar starts to become violent.

A couple-creditor gave them an ultimatum to give them the money on a certain date. The date is nearing and Edgar still can't come up with the money being asked. Kaye was abducted. He then asked the help of his brothers to make a passageway to the house of the church where the tithes were kept. They stole some money but it was still lacking. And so he was forced to do the unspeakable.

That's it.

If only for Tirso Cruz's portrayal of an annoying Bishop, this one is gold. To be blunt about it, the movie was brought about by JLC. And that's not saying much because as I've said its already a given that JLC will cement every scene he does. But if there's one thing I could commend this movie for, its the guts. In a country where different sectarian churches gets established by the day, this movie was not afraid to show the wonders of how a church gets established and how "legitimate" can a church be.

To clayton: Don't get discouraged by my review. I think you're going to love this.

Age of Loneliness-

Re: Honor Thy Father (2015)

Don't worry, it's still on my most-wanted list. One day I'll manage to find a subtitled copy ... maybe.

Re: Honor Thy Father (2015)

If you can't find a subtitled copy, just tell me, I'll make a transcript for you on my free time (which is almost always lol). If I start today, I can give the transcript to you by next week. Just inform me.

Age of Loneliness-