Friday, June 21, 2024

VIRGIN LABFEST 19: Set D - Di-Tiyak

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SI HESUS NA’A SA US - Separated husband and wife head to the airport in his taxi to wait for the arrival of her boyfriend that will take her to America. Pregnant, Luna (Sheryll Ceasico) is excited to fly to Illinois not just to be with her boyfriend but also to look for her mother Corazon (Kiki Baento) who abandoned them when she was young. Navigating the traffic along EDSA, Marlon (Roi Calilong) pesters his wife with stories of their past. Some are happy memories while others are tragedies better left forgotten. Will they make it to the airport?

This one didn’t quite connect with me and if I were to rate it separately, I would’ve just given it a mere three stars. Most entries in the labfest are dialogue-heavy. The difference almost always lies on the diverse themes tackled and the backdrop that serves as a distraction. In terms of themes, what this play talks about are normal soap opera storylines that you could watch on TV at home for free. As for the distraction, they do have a skeleton of a taxi on the stage but that’s about it. Some quips were funny and the actors were great but I ended up bored. Maybe there just isn’t much to unpack as far as the plot is concerned.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Repertory Philippines)

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Do not expect a storyline because there isn’t any. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a collection of vignettes poking fun at modern day relationships, leaving no stone unturned in lampooning everything from dating to sex to parenthood all the way to its culminating chapter hilariously named “Funerals Are For Dating” where two newly-widowed senile individuals take another chance at romance despite not remembering whose wake it is they are currently at. This musical is like watching a comedy show skit and since the brand of humor is right up my alley, I actually enjoyed the damn thing all throughout, perhaps thanks to all the sarcasm. Everything from the dialogues to the song lyrics are packed with some crass humor and common observations about relationships that you would not dare say out loud. Perhaps this is also one of the reasons why this musical ends up being funnier than it’s supposed to be.

Friday, June 14, 2024

VIRGIN LABFEST 19: Set C - PuTim

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PAGKAPIT SA HANGIN - Nurse A (Elora Espano), Nurse B (Wenah Nagales), and a Doctor (Timothy Mabalot) are trapped by their profession in a government hospital at the height of the COVID pandemic. Aside from the fatigue and lack of manpower, the trio are hounded by a dilemma which is a shortage of oxygen tanks that they must distribute equally to the 60 patients under their care. Not expecting any outside help, the three decide to select which patients have less chances of surviving, turning off their air supply. A Watcher (Gold Villar Lim), whose father is among those deprived of air, discovers the anomaly.

Most of us had the luxury of getting bored in our homes as our biggest dilemma during the pandemic, while others were not as lucky and ended up at crowded hospitals either as health workers or patients. Many of them died. PAGKAPIT SA HANGIN relives the horror and the drama at hospital halls that we’ve only ever heard about but never got to experience. It is harrowing. While deciding who has a good chance of survival seems like normal everyday occurrence in hospitals, the moral question of such a difficult decision, multiplied many times over during a pandemic, is just so unprecedented. The toll on mental health must have been traumatic.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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A sprawling estate between the town and the highway, Blackwell Manor once had more than three occupants. The trio living there now are the survivors of a multiple murder during a night when their dinner was laced with arsenic. The primary suspect, found to be not guilty, was Constance Blackwood. Now 28 years old, she has become agoraphobic and never steps foot outside the house. All the grocery shopping is carried out by her 18-year-old sister Mary Katherine Blackwood, known to everyone as Merricat. Superstitious and deludedly so, she’s often picked on by the unsympathetic townspeople who have come up with their own urban legends about their wealthy and reclusive neighbors. Completing the trio is sickly Uncle Julian who had a taste of arsenic but managed to survive, albeit now confined to a wheelchair and forever trying to write a memoir of that fateful night. One day, a certain Charles Blackwood claiming to be a cousin knocks at their door, with his own ideas about what to do with the house and family fortune.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Goodbye to Berlin

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British writer Christopher Isherwood moves to Berlin at a time of shifting ideologies aligned with the quick rise to prominence of a political figure named Adolf Hitler. Berlin during the last days of the Weimar Republic is a portrait of a society in decay, holding on to the pleasures of a bygone era giving way to what will be a tumultuous phase of the country’s history. Dealing with penury and lack of motivation for his novellas, Christopher changes residences quite often and meets some colorful personalities along the way, among them: Sally Bowles, a flapper who possesses grand showbiz ambitions but without the talent to match; homosexual couple Otto Nowak and Peter Wilkinson, with whom he shares a flat at a Baltic Sea town; Natalie Landauer, a young Jewish woman who is among the many students that he is tutoring in English; and Fräulein Schneider, his German landlady. They navigate Berlin society as anti-Semitic sentiments are on the rise, paving the path for a grim and uncertain future.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Once again the New Year has come and King Arthur gathers his knights for merrymaking in Camelot. As they savor the festivities, a gigantic humanoid crashes the party on his horse, both rider and equine of a natural green color from head to toe. He wields a battle axe despite not wearing any armor and announces his arrival to everyone with the purpose of having some Christmas fun. What he has in store for them is a little holiday challenge, should someone come forward and prove to be strong enough for him. It involves hitting him with his own axe anywhere on his body, on the condition that whoever does so would agree to receive a retaliatory blow exactly a year and a day later. King Arthur prepares to take on the challenge, but his young nephew Sir Gawain asks to do it in his stead. He quickly beheads the Green Knight, after which the latter stands up, picks up his head, and bids him goodbye before reminding him of their meeting the following year.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Nightbitch

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MM is a stay-at-home mom whose daily routine is heavily focused on raising her son. Her husband is always away on business trips and seldom helps around when he finds himself at home with them. The mother has regrets about her domestic life given how she had a successful career as an artist before she got married and gave birth to her son. As pent up frustrations begin to surface, she notices strange changes happening to her body. Aside from the surplus of hair growing in unlikely places, her front teeth also start to resemble those of a canine. Is she literally transforming into a dog or are all these a hallucination of her tired brain? The plot thickens when she meets a trio of mothers in the community who, she swears, have visited her one night as a trio of dogs. Curious, she seeks answers in a book about magical women written by a certain Wanda White, to whom she decides to write emails to quell her curiosity.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Smaller and Smaller Circles

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A Jesuit priest with postgraduate credentials in Forensics – a field which continues to be a niche specialization in the Philippines – Gus Saenz is the go-to person of the National Bureau of Investigation every time his expertise is required by the department. The latest cadaver ending up on his operating table once belonged to a young boy whose face has been scraped off his skull; his heart and genitals both removed. Assisted by his protégé and fellow priest Jerome Lucero, he delves deeper into the mystery and previous murders characterized by the same modus operandi, leading them to a potential serial killer preying on the poor and malnourished young boys of Payatas, a dumpsite that serves as residence and source of meager income for poverty-stricken folks. Facing resistance from a non-cooperative NBI personnel, the two priests rely on an unlikely ally, Saenz’s former student in France, broadcast journalist Joanna Bonifacio. As the NBI presents a suspect who was only tortured to provide a confession, the trio must race against time before the real killer claims another victim.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

One More Chance (PETA)

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Popoy (CJ Navato) and Basha (Nicole Omillo) have been a couple for the last five years. They finish each other’s sentences and are constantly planning for their wedding next year, which involves a lot of cost-cutting. Unable to keep up with her fiance’s suffocating demands, she decides to call it quits so she can enjoy some space and have some leeway to find herself. Belonging to the same circle of friends, things immediately get awkward during Thursday barkada nights. But that’s what friends are for. Pessimistic Anj (Via Antonio), happy-go-lucky JP (Jon Abella), hopeless romantic Chinno (Johnnie Moran), and couple Krizzy (Rica Laguardia) and Kenneth (Poppert Bernadas) do everything they can to be supportive of both friends. Soon, Popoy finds new love with Tricia (Kiara Takahashi) while Basha gets platonic friendship from new co-worker Mark (Jay Gonzaga). Just when the tension appears to have simmered down, romantic feelings are suddenly rekindled, shaking up the dynamics yet again.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Never Let Me Go

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31-year-old carer Kathy H is in a reminiscent mood, telling us all about her line of work in the healthcare industry assisting donors and helping them achieve a comfortable resting period in between donations. She also recalls her bestfriends Ruth and Tommy as well as the childhood they have spent together at Hailsham, a special school for children like them. There they were encouraged to live healthily and dabble in the arts, preparing artsy masterpieces that might be selected for Madame’s Gallery. As she drives from one center to another, Kathy H reflects on the experiences of Ruth and Tommy with their respective donations while also trying to remember the time she has spent as their very own carer at different points in their lives. Soon she receives the notice for her first donation, which has been a long time coming considering how long she has already been a carer.

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Turn of the Screw

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A governess is hired by a man to oversee his nephew and niece who currently reside at his country house in Bly, Essex. The children’s parents have passed away and he, as the uncle, is the closest living relative and, thus, their guardian. The governess receives a respectable stipend from her employer, on the condition that she will be fully in charge of the children and will, in no way, bother him about them or the house. Upon arrival she gets to meet the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose. After that, she is introduced to Flora, the young niece. Miles, the nephew, arrives a few days later after he is expelled from school for reasons unknown. Soon the governess starts seeing a man and a woman, whom she doesn’t recognize, at the premises. Upon describing them to Mrs. Grose, she finds out that the man is Peter Quint, an ex-employee, and the woman is Miss Jessel, the previous governess. There’s just one problem. They are both dead!

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Q & A

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18-year-old waiter Ram Mohammad Thomas is arrested by police at Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum at the heart of Mumbai, after he is accused of cheating his way into winning the one billion rupee jackpot prize on a game show called W3B. According to the producers, there is no logical explanation for a mere waiter without an education to breeze through 12 difficult questions and laugh his way to the bank. Tortured to provide a confession, Ram almost gives up until a young lady by the name of Smita, posing as his lawyer, intervenes and takes him back to her flat to review the DVD of the episode. Asked to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, he links each round of Q&A to separate episodes of his own life, from escaping a syndicate planning to blind him and his best friend Salim to time he spent working for has-been film star Neelima Kumari. Can he prove his innocence and get his money or will he rot in jail for a crime he did not commit?

Friday, May 3, 2024

Gulliver’s Travels

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Towards the end of the 17th century, a surgeon’s apprentice by the name of Lemuel Gulliver decides to choose a life of adventure by hopping on a ship to explore foreign lands. His first trip gets him marooned on the island country of Lilliput, whose inhabitants do not exceed six inches in height. There he gets caught in a war between his host nation and the neighboring island of Blefuscu. Once fortune returns him to England, his thirst for travel has him sailing again. This time around he is abandoned by the ship’s crew at Brobdingnag, whose inhabitants stand 72 feet tall. There he becomes some kind of a circus animal, finding refuge at the royal palace, somehow being treated as the royals’ pet. Once his luck takes him back to Britain, once again he finds himself on board another ship. A pirate attack leads him to be rescued by the flying island of Laputa which is in rivalry with the grounded kingdom of Balnibarbi. Once back in his native country, he goes on yet another journey and this time ends up at the land of the Houyhnhnms, a race of intelligent horses ruling over Yahoos, which look like primitive humans.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Life of Pi

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Named after a Parisian swimming pool, Piscine Molitor Patel, known to his family and friends by the nickname “Pi”, has had a colorful childhood in Pondicherry, spending much of his time tending to the animals of his father’s zoo as well as flirting with three different religions at the same time as some sort of spiritual experimentation. His metaphysical issues are immediately replaced with existential ones as the family decides to sell the zoo and the animals so they can all start anew as immigrants in Canada. As the day comes, he, his parents, and his older brother Ravi all board the Japanese ship Tsimtsum along with some animals that are going to various zoos in North America with them. The ship sinks amidst a freak storm somewhere in the Pacific, leaving Pi on a lifeboat alone with a wounded zebra, a hungry hyena, a dazed orangutan, and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Buruguduystunstugudunstuy (Resorts World Manila)

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Four ladies, one birthdate, each with her own set of problems. Jen (Marynor Madamesila) has been dirt poor all her life and is now, along with her brother Tikmol (Noel Comia Jr.), at risk of eviction from the mountain of trash they call home. Aiza (Kyle Napuli) is constantly bullied at school due to her health condition, the only emotional support she should be getting from her parents coming instead from her dog Murlock. Norma (Tex de Leon) is still not over her ex and drowns herself in liquor as a form of coping mechanism. Girlie (Natasha Cabrera) is a security guard at a shopping mall constantly barraged with unsolicited comments about her marital status now that she is getting older. The four women constantly hear a beating drum to a beat that seems to spell out the strange word “Buruguduystunstugudunstuy”. Soon they are absorbed by a magical portalet and whisked to the land of Parokya, where individuals dare to embrace what they have chosen to remain hidden, in a bid to go back to their own world and, in effect, their own lives.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Peter Pan

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Mr. and Mrs. Darling are the proud parents of three wonderful children named Wendy, John, and Michael. Also part of the family are their nannies: a dog named Nana and a househelp by the name of Liza. The family lives a rather ordinary life in London without much fanfare, at least not until the arrival of Peter Pan. Peter Pan is a young boy who still has all his first teeth and is part of the Lost Boys, a tribe of youngsters like him who reside in Neverland. Peter visits Wendy’s room one night and convinces her, along with her brothers, to fly with him back to Neverland to be his and the Lost Boys’ mother. Despite the initial hesitation of Tinkerbell, Peter Pan’s fairy sidekick, they all make it back to Neverland and face off with Captain Hook, a villainous ship captain who has an axe to grind with the young boy.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Fahrenheit 451

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In a dystopian future where homes have become fireproof, the concept of a fireman is repurposed to serve a more sinister role, which is that of starting fires instead of extinguishing them. The unfortunate victims of such raids are not people but rather books, which society and the current powers-that-be have deemed useless and too dangerous for everyone’s sake. Anyone caught harboring books gets a visit from the firemen and are put under arrest right after the arson, with some opting to burn with their library instead. One such fireman is Guy Montag, who comes home from work on a seemingly normal day running into an eclectic young girl called Clarisse who makes him reflect about his choices in life as well as his role in the status quo’s tyranny. Once he starts asking questions, much to the chagrin of his suicidal but mostly aloof wife Mildred, he begins to search for answers for a reality he does not remember ever signing up for.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Beowulf

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King Hrothgar of the Danes has had a long and prosperous rule, but is now left to worry in old age as his great hall, Heorot, is terrorized by a monster named Grendel whose emergence from his lake is becoming more and more frequent as he feasts on the king’s men. The horror is felt throughout the kingdom and all hope now seems to be gone when a brave warrior from the north docks on the king’s shores. Beowulf comes from the land of the Geats and has a debt to pay to the Danish king dating back to their forebears. He gives his word that he will get rid of the monster. The king promises fortune and fame in exchange. True enough, he accomplishes his mission and everyone rejoices, celebrating his bravery and heroism, until Grendel’s equally monstrous mother decides to pay Heorot a visit to avenge his son.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Hamlet

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One cold night at the castle of Elsinore in the Kingdom of Denmark, two guards see a ghost at the ramparts that they assume to be that of the previous king. His son Hamlet, prince of Denmark, is led to see his father’s ghost and ends up having a conversation with him. The old Hamlet tells the young about his brother Claudius, the new king, and how he murdered him so he could take over the kingdom and snatch his wife, Hamlet’s mother Gertrude. The young prince then undergoes a cycle of psychotic visions and rants, contemplating whether to avenge his father and depose his uncle. His madness spirals out of control, resulting in an accidental death and the souring of his romance with Ophelia, daughter of Polonius, the chief counselor of the king. The king decides to send his nephew to England for execution, but he eventually makes his way back to Denmark to settle things between them for good.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Mrs Dalloway

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Clarissa Dalloway goes for her early morning walk as she contemplates how her day will unfold. The wife of a politician, she is accustomed to hosting parties attended by the who’s who of London society. The beautiful yet mundane morning prompts her to reflect about the choices she has made in life, in particular her marriage to Richard instead of her childhood friend Peter Walsh, an Anglo-Indian who has proposed to her back then who is now on the verge of divorcing his wife to marry another woman he met in India. His unannounced visit in the afternoon comes as a shock to Clarissa, disturbing her party preparation and repair of her dress. Meanwhile, WWI veteran Septimus Warren Smith is suffering from PTSD after his harrowing experience in the war. His Italian wife Lucrezia gets the brunt of his husband’s hallucinations and misses home, wondering whether she made the right decision to marry him.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Ilustrado

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Self-exiled “Panther of Philippine Letters” Crispin Salvador is found lifeless and floating on the Hudson River. His untimely death is met with nonchalance back in his native Philippines, quickly dismissed as a suicide by both his detractors and rivals alike. The investigators arrive at the same conclusion, but not everyone is convinced. One of those with doubts is Miguel, his protégé at Columbia who has become more than a close acquaintance through the years. The plot thickens when the student receives an email, presumably from his recently deceased mentor, asking him to fly back to Manila to find his daughter Dulcinea who might just be in possession of his unfinished obra maestra, a manuscript with the working title “The Bridges Ablaze” that promises to expose prominent figures back home. As Miguel deplanes, he is confronted not just by the quest for finding his teacher’s estranged daughter, but also by the life he has decided to leave behind when he decided to settle in New York.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Poor Things

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What’s supposed to be the end of a life becomes the beginning of a new one after a failed suicide attempt, albeit with some mental degradation involved that requires relearning the basics. Now known as Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), she becomes the experiment of renowned surgeon Godwin “God” Baxter (Willem Dafoe) who tries to treat her as a mere science project yet can’t distance himself enough emotionally to not serve as her new father figure. He enlists the help of his best medical student Max McCandles (Ramy Youssef) to chart her progress and is eventually designated as her fiancé after witnessing their fondness for one another. Due to the unique and delicate condition of his ward, God employs promiscuous lawyer Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo) to draft a special nuptial contract. Out of curiosity, he goes out of his way to get to know the subject of the document and is immediately smitten by her, taking advantage of her naivety and convincing her to run away with him to Portugal, which serves as her first stop in discovering the world and, in effect, rediscovering life itself.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

I Am Not Big Bird

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Bank clerk Luis Carpio (Enrique Gil) is proposing to his girlfriend of five years only to be turned down because of his small dick and vow of celibacy before marriage that he is committed to. Feeling dejected, he turns to his two best friends for solace. July (Red Ollero) mans an internet card stall at some random highway while Macky (Nikko Natividad) is a closeted homosexual who is outed to his military officer father out of the blue after a botched hookup. Looking for an escapist getaway to avoid facing their problems in life, the trio decide to book a flight to Thailand in order to forget. They find themselves a tour guide in Prajak Tithi (Pepe Herrera) who lures them to a shady nightclub to be scammed. Things go awry when Luis is mistaken for legendary porn star Big Bird (Enrique Gil) who is wanted by his scorned business partner Deborah (Wipawee Charoenpura) for one final hit porn flick.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Madame Web

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1973. A pregnant scientist doing research on radioactive spiders in the Peruvian Amazon is betrayed by her guide and fatally shot. A group of tribesmen with spider-like abilities takes her in and saves her unborn child through a spider bite. 30 years later, Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson) believes her life has turned out just fine doing the rounds in the foster care system. A near death experience as a paramedic triggers something within her, resulting in heightened senses and precognitive visions, one of which is the murder of three girls by a man in a black spider suit. Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) has not aged in the last three decades but is hounded by recurring nightmares of three young Spider-Women teaming up to murder him. Soon, all of their paths finally cross. Cassandra takes it upon herself to be the protector of Julia (Sydney Sweeney), Mattie (Celeste O’Connor), and Anya (Isabel Merced), who will all grow up to be a different variant of Spider-Woman.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Mean Girls (2024)

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Homeschooled for much of her life, Cady Heron (Angourie Rice) returns to America after spending most of her childhood in Kenya. She immediately feels out of place in a typical high school setting ruled by cliques. Eclectic duo Janis (Auli’i Carvalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey) are about to reluctantly adopt her when the queen of the plastics herself, Regina George (Reneé Rapp), lays eyes on her. The rest is history. The trio hatches a plan to knock Regina off her ivory tower by turning her drones against her, namely: confidante extraordinaire Gretchen Wieners (Bebe Wood); and not-so-bright Karen Shetty (Avantika). As their scheme wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting high school populace, it is up to Math teacher Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey) and Principal Duvall (Tim Meadows) to do their best to patch up the delicate web of high school drama. Will their intervention be enough or does someone have to be run over by a big yellow school bus to drive the point home?

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Anatomie d'une chute

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German novelist Sandra Voyter (Sandra Hüller) is being interviewed by a student in her Grenoble home when Samuel Maleski (Samuel Theis), her husband, begins playing disruptively loud music from their attic that effectively cuts the interview short. Their blind son Daniel (Milo Machado-Graner) goes out for a walk with his Border Collie and later finds his father’s dead body on the snow when he comes back. As mother and son call an ambulance for what seems to be an accidental fall, the police enter the picture and an investigation begins with Sandra as the main suspect. As the prosecution presents evidence after evidence that what occurred might have been premeditated murder, the couple’s marriage and dirty laundry are displayed for an entire jury to dissect. Did he kill himself? Did she? Or was it an accident? Those are the questions, but the answers are simply too hard to come by.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Past Lives

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Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) and Nora Moon (Greta lee) have found a soul mate in each other early on in their lives, evidenced by their inseparable bond as adolescents in early 2000’s Seoul. Their puppy love is short-lived, though, as Nora’s parents find an opportunity to migrate to Canada. While the two teenagers attempt to keep their budding relationship alive despite being separated by time zones and an ocean, they eventually drift apart. 12 years later, he has just concluded his mandatory military service while she, on the other hand, moves to New York to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer. An unexpected Facebook comment reconnects the two and they immediately rekindle their friendship through frequent video calls, but never get to convince one another to actually meet. After falling out, another 12 years pass. Nora is now married to fellow writer Arthur (John Magaro) while Hae Sung finally gets the courage and the ticket to fly to New York, but is he 24 years too late?

Friday, January 5, 2024

Mallari

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1812. Doña Facunda Mallari (Gloria Diaz) arrives in Pampanga to accompany her son Juan Severino (Piolo Pascual) who will soon be ordained as that parish’s priest. They are welcomed by Maria Capac (Ge Villamil) who will be instrumental in the mother-and-son’s descent to madness. 1940. Photojournalist Johnrey Mallari (Piolo Pascual) meets an older Maria Capac (Vangie Labalan) and her assistant Conching (April Sangco) as he moves into the ancestral home. He finds out that he can time travel via astral projection to the past and future, observing the older Mallari in 1812 and meeting a boy from the future who is his descendant. 2023. Doctor Jonathan Mallari de Dios (Piolo Pascual) heads back to their ancestral house accompanied by Brother Lucas Alarcon Segundo (JC Santos) in search for answers as he is persistently hounded by a nightmare involving his fiancé Agnes’ (Janella Salvador) death.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Penduko

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Gifted with supernatural abilities, Pedro Penduko (Matteo Guidicelli) lives his life as a bum despite having good potential, using his powers for what would be considered as petty crime if discovered. Things change for him when he is stalked by a recruiter working for Hatinggabi, an agency hosting an underground magic academy and providing income opportunities for people like him. Headed by enigmatic Gat Blanco (Albert Martinez), the school consists of instructors teaching the likes of sensing spirits, creating talismans, and healing those who are maliciously attacked by other gifted individuals that use their abilities to inflict harm. Pedro trains with strong willed Liway (Kylie Versoza) who becomes his buddy as they transition from students to field agents. Meanwhile, their other classmate Saki (Arron Villaflor), who has dark inclinations, fails to graduate and is hired by competing agency Takipsilim, also headed by Blanco but conceptualized for more sinister purposes. In the end, Pedro comes face to face with his father Apo Tisot (John Arcilla), a powerful gifted individual who prefers to help rural indigents instead of capitalizing on his gifts.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Kampon

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Married couple Clark (Derek Ramsay) and Eileen (Beauty Gonzales) would love to have kids and are constantly bombarded with questions as to when they will finally have one. The problem is his impotence. While they have already consulted various doctors at her behest, even the wonders of modern medicine just couldn’t help them. And so imagine her surprise when one rainy night they find a little girl named Jade (Erin Espiritu) at their doorstep who inexplicably bypasses the fortress-like defenses of their home to introduce herself as his daughter. Not only is Jade creepy, she also has some cryptic messages at hand, talking about how her mother Loreta (Zeinab Harake) could not “come back” and, thus, necessitates Clark’s help, even though she could not verbalize how. The plot thickens when the paternity test turns out positive and the couple are now forced to keep the kid. Soon enough, zombie-like individuals start haunting them inside and outside their house.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Rewind

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For married couple Mary (Marian Rivera) and John (Dingdong Dantes), it was love at first sight. Their love story begins at primary school and continues to grow stronger through the years until it ends in a marriage proposal followed by a whirlwind romance leading to family life. Blessed with a piano prodigy for a son whom they name Austin (Jordan Lim), it should be happily ever after for this family of three, but life just happens. There are career promotions to pursue and childhood grudges to hold. After a vehicular accident claims Mary’s life, John is visited by the electrician she hired to install lights for his surprise birthday party, a guy named Jess (Pepe Herrera) whom he mistakes for Lods, his son’s moniker for Jesus Christ. But is he really? In any case, he grants him a favor so he can go back in time to save his wife, if he is willing to die in her place.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Family of Two

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Widowed single mother Maricar (Sharon Cuneta) has dedicated much of her life to raising her only son Mateo (Alden Richards). Now that he is almost in his 30’s and ready to take on life alone, he begins to question her unconditional love even though he is grateful for everything she does for him. When he finally gets the courage to ask his office crush Czarina (Miles Ocampo) out, they immediately become a couple. Issues arise when both of them are offered a lateral transfer to Singapore by their boss. She quickly says yes, but he is reluctant due to his mother. In preparation for such news, he decides that the best way to make the separation less painful for her is to have her continue her life without him at the center of it. And so he creates an online dating profile for her in hopes of finding her a love life. She doesn’t take it well. At first.

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