Saturday, August 11, 2018

BuyBust

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is conducting a buy bust operation to smoke out big-time drug pusher Biggie Chen (Arjo Atayde). In the middle of this game of Hide and Seek between criminal and police is a squad just following orders. Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) is still traumatized from a previous mission that saw her team decimated by the enemy. Finding it hard to put her life in someone else’s hands again, she often butts heads with platoon leader Bernie Lacson (Victor Neri), even though the rest of the team prove to be more welcoming. As they are ordered to pursue their assignment all the way to a shady shantytown, they will soon realize that they are but mere pawns in this game of chess between the country’s powers-that-be.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Musmos Na Sumibol Sa Gubat Ng Digma

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An old man and his grandson traverse the marshes on a small boat in search of an important item from his past that he holds dear. Nostalgic, the grandfather narrates the story of three children who have gone through the same journey decades prior. Falling victim to Rido, a term widely used down south to refer to inter-familial feud featuring warring clans, twelve-year-old Eshal (Junyka Sigrid Santarin) is forced to seek refuge in the harsh forest of Marawi with her infant brother after the murder of their father. There she meets Ahmed (JM Salvado), another Muslim kid who is also on the run from the same threat, an endless cycle of revenge passed down from one generation to the next as dictated by tradition and culture.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Liway

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Born in a prison camp for rebels and criminals, Dakip (Kenken Nuyad) spends his childhood deprived of seeing the outside world. His mother Day (Glaiza de Castro) tries her best to provide some semblance of normalcy through imagination by telling him stories featuring an enchantress called Liway. Her husband Ric (Dominic Roco) thinks it’s a bad idea, but it’s not like they have a lot of options anyway. As more and more citizens begin to march against Martial Law, the family sees a glimmer of hope that they can hold onto for getting their lives back but this is almost immediately crushed as the threat for detained rebels grow ever larger. Not wanting her son to suffer a fate that he does not deserve, Day has to make a quick and hard decision to save his life.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Distance

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Liza (Iza Calzado) gets a surprise visit from Anton (Nonie Buencamino), the husband she left half a decade ago to elope with her one true love. Asked why he flew all the way from Manila, he tells her that he has come to bring her back home where she belongs. The first few days of the family reunion is tense and filled with awkwardness. Initially reluctant, her younger daughter is quick to open up to her and let her in, but her eldest proves to be quite the challenge. She has not been welcoming at all and is not even making an effort to hide it. As the estranged mother gradually worms her way back into her children's lives, past decisions will come back to remind her that there really is no easy way to bring back trust once it is broken, and that forgiveness can’t be given overnight.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Kuya Wes

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Kuya Wes (Ogie Alcasid), as he is known to many, processes wire transfers at Western Remittance. Ever optimistic and always ready to serve with a smile, he dedicates his daily existence to make sure that everyone around him gets what they need, whether it be the timely release of his customers’ money sent from abroad or his share of bills in his brother’s household. A bit naïve and scatterbrained, he is often taken advantage of by the people he deals with. It’s a good thing that his colleague (Moi Bien) serves as a big sister figure for him, even encouraging him to go after Erika (Ina Raymundo), their monthly client whom he ends up fancying. His growing friendship with her causes a rift between him and his brother (Alex Medina) as far as finances are concerned. In the end, he has to make a stand and fight for what he wants, but will someone fight for him?

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Mamang

http://www.cinemalaya.org/mamang/
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Mamang (Celeste Legaspi) lives with her son Ferdie (Ketchup Eusebio) in an old house somewhere in Manila. He has been fired from his job as a teacher for undisclosed reasons, and she is ever supportive. Her son’s situation, however, might force them to relocate somewhere else, but her deteriorating condition might pose a challenge for them both. Her efforts to improve her physical and mental state eventually go south as she begins to receive visitors from her past, something her son dismisses as mere hallucinations of an aging mind. She makes him swear not to leave her all alone in the world, but sometimes promises are meant to be broken.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Lookout

http://www.cinemalaya.org/the-lookout/
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A brother and his sister are sold as children by their mother to a syndicate. The siblings are forced to go their separate ways for survival, only to meet later on under not so ideal circumstances. Lester Quiambao (Andres Vasquez) grows up as a hired gun, raised with precision in handling a pistol as well as a thirst for killing by the cruel Timothy (Rez Cortez). Always one step ahead of the police force hunting him, he starts to go soft with the arrival of Travis (Jay Garcia), his gay for pay love interest who eventually becomes his reluctant lover. With several murders committed and more lies unveiled, the boys realize that acknowledging the tricky nature of the world they operate in might be their best bet to get out of it alive.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

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Stressing over the grand reopening of Hotel Bella Donna, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) finds it hard to balance her obsession to make her mother proud along with her role as a wife to husband Sky (Dominic Cooper). It doesn’t help that she is stuck on Kalokairi while he is pursuing a career in New York. Sam (Pierce Brosnan) is with her for support, although she wishes her two other dads Harry (Colin Firth) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) could be there, too. As opening night looms closer, Tanya (Christine Baranski) and Rosie (Julie Walters) also arrive to bolster their de facto niece. All the reminiscing on the island paves the way for an origin story of sorts to be told, on how one summer a young and optimistic Donna (Lily James) fell in and out of love with her child’s three possible dads: a younger Sam (Jeremy Irvine), Bill (Josh Dylan), and Harry (Hugh Skinner).

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ang Huling El Bimbo (Resorts World Manila)

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Covered with newspapers, a woman’s corpse lies motionless in a dark alley. Three men are invited to the police station for questioning. Emman (OJ Mariano), Anthony (Jon Santos), and Hector (Gian Magdangal) have not seen one another for a few decades now and identifying an old friend’s dead body in a morgue is probably not the best venue for a reunion party. As they bicker over unfinished business and grudges past, they can’t help but recall their carefree college days back when they would spend lunch breaks and study sessions at Toyang’s, an eatery run by Joy’s (Tanya Manalang) Aunt Dely (Sheila Francisco) where a young Anthony (Topper Fabregas) becomes the BFF; Emman (Boo Gabunada), the older brother from another mother; and Hector (Bibo Reyes), the love interest harboring a secret crush. As they go on a joyride to Antipolo to celebrate graduation day, what could have been a lovely evening ends in tragedy, and their relationship as friends will never be the same again.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

VIRGIN LABFEST 14: Set E

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BIRDCAGE – Three BPO agents clash as they discuss life's everyday realities during lunch break. Peter (Jerom Canlas) is leaving his post to go back to the academe and fulfill his dream of studying again. He has not decided on a course program just yet, but Arthur (Gie Onida) is already convinced that the young lad will be back soon enough after he has squandered his savings on his worthless academic venture. Playing referee is Ed (Aldo Vencilao) who ends up reminiscing about his own what-ifs as he confronts the lonely fact that is his status as one of the company's long-tenured workers.

It is not difficult to understand why this play made it to this year's revisited set. It is just so damn relatable. Witnessing two opposing perspectives unfold, it is up to you based on where you are in your life at present to decide whether you will side with aging realist Arthur or support young idealist Peter. It's hard to decide because at certain points in our lives, we're both, but perhaps it is Ed who characterizes most of us, the undecided. If anything, the narrative just harks back to the common favorite theme that self-aware existentialists usually debate on. As such, this material will never get old because it refers to a topic that will always be relevant in today's society.

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