Best Filipino Films of 2008 and 2009

Here are the rankings of the Best Filipino Films from 2008 up to 2009. Based on my reviews, we could at least produce five to six quality films a year - not bad at all. 

10. Ala Pobre, Ala Suerte (Briccio Santos) 2008

Irony plays a big element in these hapless yet quite hopeful social beings which originated from the tenants of the railways. It is a mixture of hysteria, paranoia that has outwardly corrupted the ethics of the known squalors of Philippine Society. I have great admiration with how Santos has drawn a society with a great appeal of sordidness without loosening its artistic panache. Ala Pobre, Ala Suerte has delivered a just rendition of a society that has tarnished. It has not yet escaped its past’s bigotry. But it tries to move along and survive.

Carlo Aquino

9. Carnivore (Ato Bautista) 2008

Carnivore certainly gives the audience a taste of life and how vicious it could become. It is the story of Lino Lucero played with angst and vigor by Carlo Aquino. The film successfully penetrates the human mind. This is Bautista’s third film feature and I have to say that he is perceivably way better in creating psychological fears. Carnivore achieves its goal, but definitely not in a disgusting way.

Maricel Soriano and Joey Paras

8. Last Supper No. 3 (Veronica Velasco) 2009 and Kimmy Dora (Joyce Bernal) 2009

Joey Paras plays Wilson Nañawa, an assistant production designer. He is tasked to look for a last supper that will be used as a prop. They got three last suppers but on the day of the shooting, the third one has gone missing. Then the riotous adventures of Wilson begin after the owner files a case. It is a comedy about our judicial system, a flawed one as a matter of fact. Classic lines are installed in court cases with numerous references to audacious lawyers, dramatic testimonies and even common jargons that could also be a form of parody. Velasco’s Last Supper No. 3 could be an eye-opener with some tummy-tickling on the side.

Dingdong Dantes and Eugene Domingo

Eugene Domingo stars as the twin sisters in the comedy film Kimmy Dora. These twins are rivals. No one will dare tie them back again with their own umbilical cords. Bernal’s Kimmy Dora have expressed mightily a great form of absurdity and passed it over as a great entertaining film with her heavy command in slapstick and parody. As a result, it is miraculously compelling and mind enthralling. This film is a proof that laughing first before you think is the best approach to evaluate the good values of a comedy film.

7. Jay (Francis Xavier Pasion) 2008

Jay is about two people both named Jay. One is dead and the other is living. Baron Geisler stars as the living Jay, a TV producer who manufactures reality stories that tackle justice to families who have been victimized by cruel slayings. In here, we get to view the documentary at the start and later get a big juicy scoop as to how it was made. Pasion’s Jay is funny, intriguing and unique.

6. 100 (Chris Martinez) 2008

Mylene Dizon plays Joyce, a single, career-obsessed woman. Suddenly, she resigns to her work at the brink of her achievements. She has acquired the terminal type of cancer. She is given three months to live. Martinez’ 100 is witty, clever and sensitive in tackling the theme of death. Tessie Tomas and Eugene Domingo have the ability to make a discourse and switch the drama into something humorous. After all, laughter is as natural as death.

Anita Linda

5. Adela (Adolfo Alix Jr.) 2008

Anita Linda stars as Adela who turns eighty years old. Alix’s Adela is shot in real-time essence, which transpires in a day. It is a simple film with no dramatizations, no histrionics, just the stark goings-on of an ordinary woman’s life. Watching a screen legend like Anita Linda will certainly make the simple into something magnificent. Why I admire Adela, brevity.

Sid Lucero

4. Independencia (Raya Martin) 2009

Independencia is about the freed Filipino people after the Spanish colonization. Confronted by the encroaching realities of war, a mother and her son are forced by their own volition to live in the forest portrayed by Tetchi Agbayani and Sid Lucero. The claustrophobic forest with its synthetic weather and painted backdrop are innocuously attractive. Shot in black and white, Martin's Independencia is stylistic, nostalgic and the music of Labad is eerily gorgeous.

3. Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno) 2009

Engkwentro is about two brothers who are stuck in a city where death happens everyday. Felix Roco plays Richard, a young man being chased by the death squad in the city of Davao. His younger brother Raymond played by Daniel Medrana joins the rival gang and his initiation was to kill his own brother. Diokno’s Engkwentro is a film that most people should see - if they are daring enough to have a glimpse of Hell.

Che Ramos

2. Mangatyanan (Jerrold Tarog) 2009

Laya Marquez played by Che Ramos has the bravura in extending certain aspects of humanity that is too soaring to be synthesized. It is hard to understand the courage of the principles she has acquired, but that is the blood of the film. This is the life that should flow into our own existence. Tarog’s Mangatyanan is the second film of the Camera Trilogy. It is a mixture of our dying culture and the human condition. Once it is combined, it exteriorizes the frailties of our existence and penetrates the harshness of our own beliefs.

Mark Gil, Eula Valdez and Charee Pineda

1. Alon (Ron Bryant) 2008

Alon is about a young girl’s relationship with a man and his ailing wife. The film is presented in layers, a complex study in melodrama and marital sacrifice. What comes out is an emotional ménage-a-trois that leaves the audience guessing at the characters’ intrinsic turbulence, best illustrated by Mark Gil’s character Fiel in perhaps his most subtle role to date. Bryant’s Alon has a strong narrative, cautious in its progression but still with eventual flashes of silent intensity. It is a refreshing tale of unconditional love.

(Note: The star rating with four stars and above are the basis to be included. Rankings are based on my own instinct. For me it really helps to have a rating system for consistency purposes.)


javieth said...

Usually the films drives me crazy. I love every kind of films.I think every film reflects many aspects of our lives. But i love most the simplicity with witch things are explained in every situation of the films.This is when buy viagra the pill is simply but the effect is really wonderful.

sibi said...

Good review! I am tempted to see these good films!

milkdawg44 said...

Hey I'm going to the Philippines in September for 2 years. This was cool to read about their films. I am obviously especially interested in the Filipino culture.

check my blog out:

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Spartacus Vengeance said...

Best review. I watch the Engkwentro film by Diokno, and it was amazing. A straight forward eye-opener. You should make more review like this. You're insights are amazing.

TV Series said...

I'll go for Engkwentro Film..

Nice Movie with such nice Stars.!

Spartacus said...

Nice review! I had watched the Engkwentro and Mangatyanan. The plot of the two movies were amazing. And for Kimi Dora, it was one hell of a laugh trip. Eugene is a genius in her craft.

Way to go!



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Enamorar said...

Nice review! I do like it
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Watch Pacquiao Vs. Bradley Fight said...

it's so nice review i like this and I had watched the Engkwentro and Mangatyanan.

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