Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nobody Nobody but Juan

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Dolphy's style of comedy is ancient and no longer amusing. The jokes are corny and the technique, slapstick. But there are a handful of good drama scenes at least. Many shots are unclear and there are many unnecessary close-ups. G Toengi is irritating, which is good because maybe that is what's really intended for the character. Or perhaps, she is just plain annoying in the first place. Eugene Domingo and Gloria Romero are underutilized. Eddie Garcia is not very funny, at least he finally gets an MMFF role where he does not have to emulate Yoda in Chinese. The narcoleptic guy ceases to be funny after a few minutes because of his repetitive shtick. Pokwang is inconsistent and very obvious as an old woman. Blame the makeup and prosthetics department. Everything just seems rushed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mano Po 6: My Mother

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

The movie somehow manages to reach you on an emotional level, but as a whole it has a lot of flaws. Perhaps by wanting to be socially relevant, Mother Lily drags in the issue of human trafficking and loosely connects it to the heroine's mother, to whom the subhead actually refers, and whose role could easily be summarized as a footnote or a passing thought and no one would even bother to care. This movie is really all about Melinda, and her kids. End of story. The other story elements seem contrived and disposable. The lousy editing does not help.

I've seen Chinese women roles portrayed with more gusto and believable coldness by other actresses (remember Dao Ming Sz's mother in Meteor Garden?) but Zsa Zsa here is an effing caricature. The accent is just disturbing. Her role as a villain is ineffective. When Melinda plants a fist on Olive's face, you do not feel triumph. You feel like you are watching a comedy bar skit. The villain is supposed to be hated but understood. Here, she is laughed at.

I Love You, Goodbye

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Towards the end there is a twist which decides who ends up with whom. It is probably intended to be a rather dark twist, but then for some reason the director suddenly opts for convenience. Star Cinema seems to have been using this plot device a lot lately. People might get tired of it. Believe me, there sure are many other ways to **** a character.

Surprisingly decent acting from the cast, even from Kim Chiu. This girl has the looks, but is very skinny. Maybe she should consider fattening herself up a little bit. There is a problem with her as an actress, but more than the acting I think it has something to do with the manner of speaking. When she recites her lines it seems like she is holding something back, as if something is restraining her from speaking naturally. Does it have something to do with her mother tongue? What is her native language, Binisaya?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Avatar is Pocahontas painted blue and made incredibly tall plus The Lost World set on a different plane (or is that a moon?) rolled into a three-hour film, with a little added spice of violence from your favorite war movie. After seeing it in 3D and getting mesmerized with the special effects, who would really care about Pocahontas or Steven Spielberg's dinosaurs?

More than anything else, what is really amazing about this movie is the world that the director has created for it. The landscape is breathtaking. The flora is an exaggeration of what we have here on Earth. The fauna borrowed a lot from Jurassic Park. What makes them unique though, is the fluorescence of it all. It might be just a tad too exaggerated for the human perception, but man, do they not know how to glow! This gives the audience a unique visual spectacle of colors and lights guaranteed to either pique their interest or annoy them to death. Nonetheless, it certainly catches one's attention and I think that is the whole point.

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