Category: Movies

38th MMFF: Thy Womb

1:55 am PHT

I was a bit disappointed with last year’s crop of Metro Manila Film Festival entries. Among the eight films, I only had interest in watching three: Thy Womb, El Presidente, and Sisterakas (in decreasing order of preference). Thy Womb received numerous accolades at foreign film festivals and that’s the main reason why I was interested in this Brillante Mendoza–directed piece. And since Thy Womb was threatened to be pulled out of theaters due to poor performance at the box office, that was the first film I saw.

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Ang Nawawala

12:39 am PHT

At times it felt too long, and I find the premise a bit implausible, but Marie Jamora’s Cinemalaya film Ang Nawawala is easily the best film I’ve seen so far this year.

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2010 Top 10 Movies

3:10 pm PHT

I guess it’s no longer a tradition if you’re going to break it for three years but in the spirit of blogging, I’m going to restart my yearly post of presenting the top 10 movies of the previous year that I’ve seen, just like what I did for 2006, 2005, and 2004. (Also, it’s Oscar night tonight!) As with those earlier posts, I only considered movies that had their screening in Philippine cinemas in 2010 and which I was able to see that same year. 2010 was a pretty decent movie-going year for me and I was able to watch a respectable total of 45 films.

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36th MMFF: RPG Metanoia

1:21 am PHT

Before the recent filmfest, the last time I watched any Metro Manila Film Festival entry was two years ago when I saw Baler, Dayo, and Tanging Ina 2. I deliberately did not see any film during the 35th edition because none of the entries moved me enough to haul my ass to the local cinema. So it was with some anticipation that I watched RPG Metanoia (IMDB) together with my siblings early last week.

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A Rave for Inception

10:18 am PHT

I declared in Plurk, “sorry, The Matrix, I love you and all but you have absolutely nothing over Inception. *Absolutely nothing!*” Yes, I do think the movie Inception is that good. It’s been getting pretty good raves from the movie critics (though not to universal acclaim, since some movie critics just want to buck the trend and to just be critical  :-P) and it’s already gotten a rating of 9.6 with more than 2,500 votes over at IMDb so I’m definitely not alone in my regard. I knew I wanted to see this film the first time I saw its trailer and the good reviews and raves from other people I know that have already seen the movie had me itching to watch Inception as soon as possible and I did so last night. I often watch movies a week or two after they have been locally released to avoid the crowds, but for this Christopher Nolan masterpiece, I made an exception.

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The Last Journey of Ninoy

11:05 am PHT

I wasn’t able to watch the TV screening of The Last Journey of Ninoy on ABS-CBN but I heard many good things about the film from those who’ve seen it. So when I learned that it was being screened at Glorietta 4 during the last week of August, I really went out of my way to see it.

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My Sister’s Keeper

10:14 pm PHT

The instant I saw the trailer of My Sister’s Keeper, I was definite that I would watch it. I generally like action, adventure, sci-fi and disaster movies, but I have a soft spot for touching or even tear-jerking dramas. Heck, two of my most recent movie reactions on this blog—the ones on The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and 100—are such kind of films. And as far as touching dramas are concerned, My Sister’s Keeper does not disappoint. (I think I even shed a tear or two while watching the movie.)

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Two Films Starring Kate Winslet

11:00 pm PHT

I think it’s a bit sad that some of the better films only have limited screening locally. For example, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was only shown at Shangri-La. And then I did not manage to catch Milk and Doubt. But luckily, I was able to see in Glorietta both The Reader and Revolutionary Road, two films that starred Kate Winslet. These two movies garnered for Winslet Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress and Supporting Actress and the The Reader, in particular, gave her a long overdue Best Actress Oscar Award. These two are some of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

11:54 pm PHT

I usually check the movie schedules at every Wednesday to find out what new movies are screening. The film that caught my attention last week was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas which was only showing at Shangri-La Plaza. I did some research and it turns out that the film is an adaptation of a novel by Irish author John Boyne. The novel and the film’s premise concerns the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of an innocent 8-year old German boy named Bruno. Bruno’s father was a member of the SS and was assigned to be the commandant of a Jewish concentration camp in the countryside. Having no preconceived notions about Jews, Bruno secretly befriends a Jewish boy in the camp named Schmuel.

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34th Metro Manila Filmfest Roundup

11:38 pm PHT

I’ve always made it a point to watch at least one Metro Manila Film Festival movie each year and hopefully to blog about it. (For example, here’s my post on Aishite Imasu, which happens to be the most-viewed movie post in my blog.) Well, I did watch Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo and the sequel Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo during the past two years, but neglected to write my reaction of them. So, I’m rectifying that this year by giving my thoughts of the three movies I saw in the recent 34th MMFF. Of the eight films in the festival, I watched Ang Tanging Ina Ninyong Lahat with my family on Christmas Day, saw the animated Dayo Sa Mundo ng Elementalia last January 3, and caught Baler three Sundays ago.

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100 is a 100% Must-watch!

9:42 pm PHT

I plurked a few days ago that one thing you should definitely do before you die is to watch 100. I managed to catch it last Sunday at Robinsons Galleria and I must say that the journey to Ortigas and the 151-peso ticket is worth it. 100 is the best film I have seen this year, easily bumping The Dark Knight from the top spot. It’s movies like these that give me hope for the local movie industry. Kudos to Chris Martinez, the writer and director of the film, which marks his debut.  :-)

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Ratatouille and The Simpsons Movie

7:30 pm PHT

After all of those techie posts, let’s go to the lighter side and make a couple of belated movie reactions to the last two animated films I’ve seen: Ratatouille, which is about a rat who wants to become a chef, and The Simpsons Movie, the much-awaited movie version of the popular animated TV series.

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Two Films of Two Teenagers

1:44 am PHT

Woah. It’s been over three months since I last did a movie reaction so let me rectify that by talking about two not too-recent movies. One is about a teen and his phoenix-core wand, while the other is about another teen and his Camaro/alien-robot.

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3:03 pm PHT

It’s been a very long time since I last saw a science-fiction film and I can’t even remember offhand the last one I did see. So it was a breath of fresh air that I managed to catch the screening of Sunshine a few weeks ago. Essentially, the movie is about the journey of spaceship Icarus II and its crew of eight to the sun to revive it by igniting a massive stellar bomb. While the film is primarily science fiction (which some have compared to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), there are large elements of drama and action incorporated into the movie. I pretty much liked the movie.  :)

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323 (is 300 + 23)

11:44 pm PHT

Forgive the admittedly cheesy title, but since the last two movies I saw have numbers for their titles, this movie commentary post is just begging for it. Hehehe.  :)

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2006 Top 10 Movies

6:22 pm PHT

One traditional post that I do yearly in this blog is a list of the top 10 movies that I’ve seen for the past year, in this case, for 2006. If you’re interested, you could check out my 2005 and 2004 listings. Like before, the only movies that can be included in the running are those that had their theatrical screening in 2006 and that I saw them in 2006.

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2:36 pm PHT

If the previous entry was about a real Babel story, this one is about Babel, the movie, which I saw last night. I found film’s synopsis interesting and it won the Golden Globe Best Picture for drama, so the film got into my list of must-see movies. Fortunately, I was able to catch it before it gets booted out (only Gateway and some SM malls were screening it in the Metro).

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An Inconvenient Truth

3:47 am PHT

Ever since I read last year a blog post about Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth from superblogger Kottke, I knew that it was one film that I would definitely watch. I was fortunate enough to happen to view the movie ads in a newspaper and to particularly learn that SM would have a limited screening of the documentary. (I’m not sure, but I think there was an earlier screening of this film when I was in Japan.)

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Inang Yaya

7:41 pm PHT

When I first saw the trailer for Inang Yaya, I said to myself “I am definitely going to see this.” So I was glad that this film was still screening (mostly at SM cinemas) when I got back from Japan, especially before all the theaters will begin showing MMFF entries. I saw it last Monday, and I would have to agree with others that this is the best Pinoy film I’ve seen so far this year.

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Massive Movie Round-up

1:16 pm PHT

Since I haven’t talked about any movie I’ve seen for the past few months here in my blog. Here’s a slew of them.  =)

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10:02 pm PHT

Hmmm… I never thought that my next movie will displace my best-movie-of-the-year-so-far V for Vendetta so soon. But Rent is quite a beautiful movie with a much more emotional impact on me. I’ve been wanting to see it ever since I saw the trailer on the Net. I wanted to watch a movie before coming to Japan (since I won’t watch one in Japan—movies in Japan are damn expensive) and fortunately, Ayala Cinemas decided to screen Rent starting on March 29. Just in time!

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Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

11:40 am PHT

The trailers don’t do the film, V for Vendetta, justice. I saw the trailers before and it didn’t get me interested enough to see the movie. But after my very good friend told me to go watch it, I did and was pleasantly surprised. This is probably the best movie I have seen so far this year.

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2005 Top 10 Movies

9:08 am PHT

Like last year, I have again compiled my top ten movies of last year. Like before, the only movies that can be included in the running are those that had their theatrical screening in 2005 and that I saw them in 2005.

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31st MMFF: Blue Moon

9:15 am PHT

Blue Moon is actually the only film I was really interested in from last year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. And that was what I saw. It’s a good film with a great story and notable acting by Christopher de Leon, Dennis Trillo, and Jennylyn Mercado.

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Two Films of Two Boys

6:22 am PHT

To close the movie reviews for 2005, I’m gonna talk about the film of the boy who lived and that of the boy who bloomed. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros were the last two movies I saw last year.

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Lucky Friday the 13th

8:59 am PHT

I got two free invites to go see Jam 88.3’s advanced screening of Little Manhattan. I was the fifth texter to correctly answer the question, “What does the acronym MoMA stand for?” The answer is the Museum of Modern Art. The screening is later at 8:00pm at Robinson’s Galleria.

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11:53 pm PHT

What a hilarious movie! Waiting… is maybe the funniest movie I have seen this year (Hitch and Meet the Fockers are the other finalists). While bereft of any semblance of a coherent plot, it was just perfect the way it is. My younger sister was disgusted by it and totally despises it, but I just love its toilet humor and how the film doesn’t take itself seriously. Seriously good fun, folks.

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The Legend of Zorro

12:35 pm PHT

The Legend of Zorro is fun, and I think a tad bit better than the first movie. And since the development of nitroglycerin is part of the movie’s plot, we see some gratuitous explosions aside from swashbuckling swordfights. Though predictable, full of cliches, and impossibly-perfect action scenes at times, all in all, it’s a great entertaining movie.

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The Chocolate Factories

8:09 am PHT

Delightfully weird is what I would call Tim Burton’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’ve also had the serendipitous experience of watching Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory way back in grade school. The two films are really nothing like each other. I haven’t read the book so I’ll base my post on these two films alone.

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The Island

2:53 am PHT

I loved it! I think it’s the best movie I’ve seen so far this year. (I’m most probably exagerrating, but then, I can’t deny the big smile on my face during the movie’s ending credits.) So go watch it!

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Half-Blood Prince

12:03 pm PHT

I finally finished reading the sixth Harry Potter book last weekend, after waiting for my two sisters to finish reading it. And now I know why Harry Potter fanatics felt sad and disappointed with the book’s ending. You only need to read the various blog posts around the world.

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Not So Fantastic

10:36 am PHT

Fantastic Four is a cheesy popcorn movie. It has nice CGI, but nowhere near as nice as Episode III or even War of the Worlds. It has a very shallow plot; Spiderman and Daredevil were better. It’s just one nice entertaining movie that you’d only watch once.

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War of the Worlds

7:41 am PHT

The recent Spielberg-Cruise collaboration is one very nice understated CGI masterpiece. I’ve been wanting to watch it ever since I heard about it and I liked it although the ending was quite abrupt. (Though, people who have read the book or know about the story would be pleased at the faithfulness of the film’s ending.)

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Hotaru no Haka

12:12 am PHT

A little aimless web surfing and I stumbled onto this movie I’ve seen several years ago in U.P. Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka) [Wikipedia] is simply one of the most moving films I have ever seen.

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Revenge of the Sith

11:21 pm PHT

Watched it yesterday. Agree that it was the best of the first three episodes. Agree with Kottke that you’d wish things would have turned out differently despite knowing what happens. Agree that the slaughtering of the Jedi was kinda sad. Agree that the movie spent too much time tying the knots to Episode IV. Agree that the movie is more engrossing than expected. Agree that the dialogue (especially between Padme and Anakin) was cheesy. Agree that the acting won’t win Oscars (but it wasn’t that bad). Agree?

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7:01 pm PHT

Just a quickie post. I suddenly realized something about the word “dreamweaver” that I never saw before. I encountered the word through two very different ways and only realized just now that they were the same word.

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7:39 pm PHT

Yes, I’ll admit that I watched Star Cinema’s pre-Valentine offering. And the verdict? It’s surprisingly very good! By now, you should’ve heard by word-of-mouth or whatever about the unconventional storyline of the movie and the clever twist that will be revealed near the end.

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30th MMFF: So… Happy Together

6:15 am PHT

After a long time, I’ll be completing my commentary of the three movies I saw from the 30th Metro Manila Film Festival. If you’re interested, you can read my thoughts about Spirit of the Glass and Aishite Imasu. And continue reading on to know more about So… Happy Together, the last MMFF film I saw.

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30th MMFF: Aishite Imasu (Mahal Kita) 1941

6:20 am PHT

Aishite Imasu is the second movie I saw from the Metro Manila Film Festival. And compared to Spirit of the Glass, this is way, way, way better. The story is much more substantial, the acting is significantly better, and the cinematography is quite decent. It reminded me of Oro, Plata, Mata, another Japanese period film.

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2004 Top 11 Movies

10:52 pm PHT

Herewith is the list of my top 11 movies for 2004:

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30th MMFF: Spirit of the Glass

11:41 am PHT

One word: cheap.

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That was Incredible!

11:51 am PHT

Obviously, I’m talking about Disney-Pixar’s new film, The Incredibles. The movie was incredibly fun. And I have yet to see an overtly negative review of the film anywhere. It’s just that good. Way better than Shrek 2 (probably much, much better than Sharktale, which I haven’t seen). This film will definitely be in my top five films this year.

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Cellphones, Sunsets, and Daggers

11:19 am PHT

Let’s resume our normal movie reactions. Over the past two weeks I’ve watched the following three films: House of Flying Daggers, Before Sunset, and Cellular. Among the three, I liked the Ethan-Hawke-Julie-Delpy starrer the best.

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The Notebook

7:15 pm PHT

I expected the movie to be cheesy and mushy. It is.

I expected that I won’t cry like I did with A Walk to Remember. I failed.

Damn Nicholas Sparks for writing these stories and damn the movie producers for producing these films!

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The Bourne Supremacy

12:53 pm PHT

My most favorite scene in the movie would probably be the car chase in Moscow. I find it amazing how movie directors and stunt choreographers can coordinate a car chase in a well-known city that’s not in the United States. I remember also liking and being amazed by the car chase scene in the first movie, this time in Paris.

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God Sends a Dodgeball

1:12 am PHT

Godsend is freaky. Dodgeball is hilarious. Both are worth watching but once.

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The Village

11:33 pm PHT

I wonder what pushed me to watch The Village, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie. Alone.

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Fahrenheit 9/11

9:52 am PHT

Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 is one piece of brilliant propaganda. Propaganda? Yes. Documentary? Not really. Anyone who thinks critically should at least see that Michael Moore is definitely taking potshots (some below the belt) at an incumbent president.

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The Inanity of Captain Barbell

6:13 pm PHT

Top-grosser in the last Metro Manila Film Festival. A cornucopia of popular actors and actresses. Special effects and a love story to match. Ninety minutes of wasted celluloid.

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NY Times’ 1,000 Best Movies Ever Made

10:05 pm PHT

I saw this list of The New York Times’ The 1,000 Best Movies Ever Made (requires a free registration) via Kottke and decided to see how many of these movies I have already seen (Kottke has seen 201). Not surprisingly, I’ve seen a mere 37 out of 1,004. What’s surprising is the choices of the “film critics of The New York Times.”

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10:15 pm PHT

Keka is definitely one of the best Pinoy films I have ever watched. I loved it so much that I watched the DVD early morning last Saturday. Keka is not your ordinary jologs Pinoy film. It’s got a great story, great dialogues, funny scenes, and very good editing.

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