Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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In terms of visual effects, the runaway winner would be the cave scene, although it is a bit reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. Gandalf, is that you?! Gollum? Another Gollum? Gollums! And of course, Dumby's pyrotechnic show that would put Enchanted Kingdom's weekend visual spectacle to shame.

I love Luna because she is so loony. Every remark she makes elicits a What the, where the hell did that comment come from? response. She is like a human 25 Things You Don't Know About Me Facebook meme. The little screen time she gets is all worth it.

Loony runner up would be Bellatrix Lestrange. I do not know if she is really supposed to be that strange, or perhaps it is just all Helena Bonham Carter, who by the way looks like Hilda Koronel in some angles. She has a couple of screws loose in the head, which in turn provide ample entertainment for us audience. You just cannot Avada Kedavra this woman. She is just so charming... in a very twisted kind of way.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spelling Bee (Atlantis Productions)

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What makes this musical unique is the inclusion of four guest spellers, two of which are celebrities and the other two just anyone from the audience. Hence, it is made sure that every show is different from the last one.

The celebrity spellers for the night were Gian Magdangal and Moi Ortiz, who I think I have already seen somewhere but cannot remember where exactly. For someone who has already been on another musical (West Side Story) Gian seemed shy on stage, or perhaps he was just being polite because it was not his play anyway. He was asked to spell dog and sciapodi-something (sorry, I forgot). As for Moi, Ms. Peretti's introductions of him were dead-on: Mr. Ortiz is wearing the latest Zac Efron hairstyle; and "Mr. Ortiz uses his shoes to check his reflection. I remember a video I have seen online where Lea Salonga was the guest speller and she was introduced as: Ms. Salonga just found out that she was a Vietnamese prostitute in her past life. HAHAHAHAHA!

Villa Estrella

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MAJA SALVADOR FTW! Paging Star Cinema and ABS, this girl should be the one getting the big breaks. Shaina rants. Shaina cries. Shaina makes spooked faces. But Maja only has to glare enigmatically at the camera, and all the other actors in the scene fade into the background. When will her home network give her a big break, when she is 40? This movie will be another proof of how underrated she is as an actress. Her character here is strange. The weirdness ranges from silently-psychotic-strange to lesbo-strange. Or maybe I am just green minded.

I would have to agree with one of the earlier reviews. There is a decent story here, but for some unknown reason it seems that Star Cinema has intentionally jinxed the movie. Casting a bunch of actors who have not yet proven anything box office-wise is risky. Sandwiching a movie between Transformers 2 and Ice Age 3 is plain box office suicide. I would have understood the bad play date if the story is really bad. But the story here is actually plausible. So Star Cinema, why the bad play date?

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Fantasticks (Repertory Philippines)

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I like the flow of the story. The first act is like the fairy tale and the second act serves as its deconstruction. The pianist and the keyboardist are awesome. The minimal musical accompaniment they provide jives well with the also minimalist set.

Luisa (Julia Abueva): It is weird but she resembles the Gonzales twins. Her voice is stunning and after reading her bio on the souvenir program I found out why. I do not know how old she really is but she effectively captures the naivety of a sixteen-year-old girl. She is the only girl in the group but she manages to stand out because of her stage presence. I think this girl would end up in Broadway one day. She is so damn good.

Matt (PJ Valerio): His performance on the second act is better than the first. It could have been flawless if not for that one big technical glitch, his mic went dead in the middle of a song! The show must go on but try as he might his voice got drowned by that of El Gallo's. Singing alone, he is good. I think the highlight of his performance is the opening ensemble song of Act 2. The problem is when he is singing a duet with Abueva, the girl's voice somehow steals his thunder. I am not saying that his voice is not good but maybe he could just polish it a little and work on sustaining the long notes. But I just love their They Were You duet. He fits the role well because he really looks like a teenager. The guyliner and the makeup bothers me though. He looks emo specially when on the spotlight.

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