Astig (Mga Batang Kalye)

Astig (Click on the title for my review) is a film directed by GB Sampedro. It stars Dennis Trillo, Edgar Allan Guzman, Arnold Reyes and Sid Lucero. This is one of the films in competition in the recently concluded Cinemalaya 2009 Film Festival. GB Sampedro won as Best Director for this film.
It will be shown in Robinsons Indiesine from September 23-29, 2009.
Charlie Koon's Rating:

Yaya & Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie

Yaya & Angelina: The Spoiled Brat Movie is a comedy film directed by Mike Tuviera. It stars Ogie Alcasid and Michael V.It will be shown in theaters nationwide starting September 23, 2009.


Bayaw (Brothers-in-law) is a film directed by Monti Parungao. It stars Janvier Daily and Paolo Rivero.
It will be shown in selected theaters starting September 23, 2009.



Mangatyanan (Click on the title for my review) is a film directed by Jerrold Tarog. It stars Che Ramos, Irma Adlawan, Pen Medina, Neil Ryan Sese and Publio Briones III. I do recommend this film to be seen by everyone. It is one of the films in competition in the recently concluded Cinemalaya 2009 Film Festival.This will be exclusively shown in Robinsons Indiesine from September 16-22, 2009.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

In My Life

In My Life is a film directed by Olivia Lamasan written by Senedy Que and Raymond Lee. It stars John Lloyd Cruz, Luis Manzano and Vilma Santos.It will be shown in theaters nationwide starting September 16, 2009.


Ang Manghuhula

Ang Manghuhula (Click on the title for my review) is a film written and directed by Paolo Herras. It is about an outcast and failed fortuneteller who returns home to save her daughter from a fate she herself escaped--the town's next fortuneteller; a fate handed down from mother to daughter. It stars Eula Valdez, Glaiza de Castro, Chanda Romero, Pinky Amador, Emilio Garcia and with the special participation of Bella Flores.It will be shown in selected theaters nationwide starting September 9, 2009.

Charlie Koon's Rating:


Lamb Chops

Christmas Lights

Kinatay’s (The Execution of P) exclusive Greenbelt screening was organized by a company which I thought is a punch line for the event. Never served as an appetizer, Adobo is the leader publication for the advertising and marketing community who is now the bearer of the Cannes Film Fest 2009 Best Director Brillante Mendoza win for Kinatay. That night was a nearly classy event for an independent film that shoots garbage bins, mutilated panties and a moribund illustration of diabolism with artistic allusion. They served wine and cocktails in the lobby and adjacent to that is the mini-museum/altar of Mendoza’s trophy collection. I thought they would also give litter bags as an understated precaution for what we are going to witness. Kitty litters are nowhere to be found in the alleys, if ever there were grossed-out socialites would dare come out from their seats. So you are obliged to politely swallow your own vomit or anything you wish to take out of your system for that matter. But even then, your imagination functions beyond thought.

Since most of the audiences are from the AB crowd, the reactions are more subdued. Or else, a castration will be the retribution for being unsophisticated towards gruesome themes. We are the elitists so the expectations from us, the audience, are also far above the ground. And the reactions are overwhelmingly soundless; as if Mendoza can shoot right there for an upcoming film. And anyone who will react with a slight shock in their face will receive a standing ovation as an indication of being over-the-top. In a way, the surrounding in the theater is quite the unadulterated imitation of what real-time is all about. For about one and a half hours screening the film will defy any real-time purist filmmakers. Agnes Varda tried to make one in her 1962 film Cleo from 5 to 7. But she exceeded thirty minutes with the ninety minute running time of the film. Mendoza’s film principles could also be his own worst enemy. With the aid of the pen and philosophies of Armando Lao, who also preaches real-time as the “New Bible” to our evolving filmmakers, Mendoza has made another film with the same theory. But the difference is that, Serbis is just about there in getting the core of the supposed strength, as they enslave themselves to the theory of real-time. But in Kinatay, they certainly fail.
Mendoza’s Kinatay is a well-orchestrated slice of life occurrence to the life of a soon-to-be police cop, who will witness another slice which is not the former, rather a slice of human brutality with the use of an old machete. Gingerbread men are fortunate enough to be molded from cookie cutters. Peping (Coco Martin) is a Criminology student who just got married to Connie (Mercedes Cabral). We follow Peping that day in these semi-voyeuristic slash rickety documentaryish camera techniques for the reality to sink into us. But despite the fact we are near the equator, our vision has no earthquake of its own. For once, I could now put forward my complaint, since the concept is all about hardcore reality. Anyway, the shots during the day are still clear; film celluloid really serve as an achievement in cinematography. As the night sets in, the inflexible obsessions of Mendoza seems to be the entirety of it – could be the reason why he have won. It does not only scratch all our senses, but also weakens his fervor towards real-time filmmaking. So there goes the re-assessment of the material. It seems that they are fifteen and a quarter steps in the wrong direction. I am certain that Kinatay disappoints on the leverage of its purpose. The purpose of which is found in the previous film Serbis. He could have setup a camera in front of us, real-time is within the screening of the film, on a purist standpoint. The impotent film Next Attraction made this statement but not in a positive and relevant motion. But it made me reassess the film and could possibly hail it as a great art trash. Its trash but a great one – it utterly deserves two and a half stars. I have never been in a formal film school but I am getting the offset concept with the rapid sprouting of extremism. It’s the opposing poles they want to achieve. So therefore, within the two films, which is more ‘a day in the life’? To whom should we give our tireless applause for conferring rapture? If it made you feel something, then it’s definitely a yarn from a basket of ribbons – colorful ones to be literal.

Kinatay might elicit a few more years of debate for its overly sensational and gritty material. And they could be praised for it. It has filled in the gaps to the scenes not explored during the Massacre Era of the nineties. Kinatay could be at par in terms of technicalities but nothing more than that. I prefer Serbis in Mendoza’s clump of films. It could make you think it is insignificant but that film could be more accurate without being too artistic or literary with its reflection. It is a slice of life that they preach and yet they are now afraid to incite boredom but opted to show a murderous night, from all of the days of our subsistence. But if you get bored stiff and jaded with nothing, it is easier to bow down to good old storytelling. Mendoza almost made a nearly insightful story and that is not what real-time had in mind. He will either chop it off, a conformist act, or do nothing.

Charlie Koon's Rating:

Men in Trees

Good boy Bad boy

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” - Henry David Thoreau

Desperate men are the most interesting species of men, at least in the theatrical sensibility. Usually dominated by a hard-boiled adrocentrist and suitcasey predisposition, normally tuned men are so difficult to capture in a colorful point of view, if they are captured at all, without the color reverting to a shade of gay futility. Apart from the sacrosanct movies of Fernando Poe and the like, men who have successfully summoned themselves in order to slay towering white handkerchiefs with womanish heads, the sheer absence of a good dude flick has the industry scrounging for fresh mojo. Astig is shrewd to fill the void, helmed by GB Sampedro and produced by the Queen of Men himself Boy Abunda, the debut of this TV oriented fraternity has the audience dashing for a second run.

The movie itself is cut into four slightly intertwining episodes, almost-Amores in its rendering but still accessibly linear thanks to Charliebebs Gohetia’s editing. The gruff and unsilken demonstration of filth and testosterone is predictable enough. These men are out to survive. The streets are rough and they have to be rougher, a survivalist mentality that permeates through the film’s entirety. But as the bricks start to crumble, the unfolding somewhat effortlessly belies the staunch but artificial rigor of the permanent Man along with his preciously defended manhood. Inevitably the latter becomes another pawnable item of the city’s vicious and voluptuous grinding.

It was refreshing to see a few mainstream actors in the process of actual thespianism. The dirty-tongued Dennis Trillo was robust and multi-faceted enough to stand as the definitive paragon of the stubborn boyness that unravels under the weight of his own dire consequences. Young men are most difficult to effectively characterize under normal circumstances without coming off as formulaic. Their desires are boxed and predictable, their reaction times calculatedly similar. The stereotypes of the weak and the strong are too two-dimensional to employ in any meaty portrayal. In this movie the addition and intimation of male emotion paradoxically adds strength to the characters. It’s always the tension of feeling that kills them in the end. A strong man is the suffering man, amusing to watch and terrific to behold in its fetish proportionality.

Aside from Trillo’s irrepressible brio and Sid Lucero’s obstinacy, the middle two episodes as presented by Edgar Allan Guzman and Arnold Reyes showed more of the despondent man, bedfellows of hard living and everything in between hard things. To relinquish one’s penetrative role as bleatingly portrayed by Guzman in the fluid-ridden movie house is a prime example of a sacrifice done on the strain of a family’s common hunger. Crying and nakedness are rampant, and the women aren’t so bad at it either. Add a few sprinklings of the occasional ill-placed but good-intentioned famous person’s cameo and you have a collective acting ordeal that could possibly surprise the mainstream observer but may casually bore the jaded indie activist. Certainly this movie is not Cinemalaya’s most cerebral, perhaps a mock symbolism of masculinity itself, but the primal grace is evident enough to enthuse. Ultimately, it is a reflection of how far humans can go and how scared we are of the predator from the bottom of the tree.
Written by: Alex Milla (Guest Critic)


Kimmy Dora

Kimmy Dora is a comedy film directed by Joyce Bernal. It stars Eugene Domingo, Dingdong Dantes and Zanjoe Marudo.It will be shown in theaters nationwide starting September 2, 2009.
Related Posts with Thumbnails