Christmas season is probably the busiest time for Philippine movie industry because of the Metro Manila Film Festival. Each year, MMFF features around 8 movies (I think) for people to watch out for. It has been a tradition for me to watch at least a film or two to show my support. And this year, I was able to watch three. Below are my sort-of-review-but-more-of-a-reaction of the films I got to watch.
I made it a point to watch this film first. The trailer alone is so enticing. From the costumes, the location, the characters, the music – you can tell that it will offer a lot of promise. It is actually based from true events, and tells us the story of Rosario, a beautiful and rich girl, her mistakes and struggles in life, and how it was told today by her son (played by the Comedy King Dolphy) to one of her grandson, Manny V. Pangilinan. Set in the 1920s, with its amazing cinematography, it surely captured moviegoers’ interest to watch it. Internet was abuzz that this will obviously sweep all major awards in the festival.
The film started with Dolphy being able to save some of his Mom’s (Rosario) pictures from the flood, and reminiscing memories with her. Liza Lorena, who played his wife, suggests for him to look for his nephew and his family to let them know about what really happened and to seek help as well for their ailing situation. And when Dolphy found where his nephew is, he began to tell him Rosario’s story.
Jennylyn Mercado was just breathtaking. The role, and the film’s period theme, fits her really well. I can say that this film is indeed her career’s highlight. She also aced the acting, same with the other characters like Yul Servo, Eula Valdez, Dennis Trillo, Isabel Oli, Sid Lucero, among many others.
Technically this film is an A, the movie ratings board can attest to that. But I personally think that what went wrong, or what it lacked, was how the story was told. I don’t know but it gave me this “kulang” or “bitin” feeling after watching it. Not because the movie wasn’t long enough, I bet it would take years to tell everything, but I just probably didn’t like the fact that the main character wasn’t able to make peace or didn’t get to straighten things out with her loved ones. Also, I think the film failed to reach out to its viewers or touch their hearts in terms of being able to relate the story to them. Aptly, in Tagalog, “kulang sa kurot sa puso”. Or probably it’s just me and my great expectations about this film which were not met. But overall, I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.
I honestly didn’t intend to watch this one, but I was left with no choice but to see it because of my friends who preferred to “laugh” one December 30 night at our post-Christmas and pre-New Year get together. I don’t know but I’m not much of a fan of this movie series, I mean I can watch it but not in a cinema. But good thing my friends didn’t choose Shake Rattle and Roll 12. I’d walk out if they did. Seriously.
Anyway, I was a bit curious with Ai-Ai’s performance here and see if it really is deserving of the Best Actress recognition. I’d say yes, if it’s for a Musical or Comedy Role just like the Emmy’s. But for a lead role? I don’t think so. Sorry to burst Ai-Ai’s bubble but my vote is for Jennylyn. Yes it’s quite difficult to do a comedy/drama role, just like what Ms. Delas Alas did in this movie, but I don’t know, her bagging the lead actress award is like a big joke. Sorry but that’s how it felt for me. I’m just saying.
For me, Ang Tanging Ina Mo Last Na ‘To is just a typical Pinoy film that had its perfect timing with the MMFF’s change of Board that will screen the movies, that’s why it became the festival’s big winner. It would make you laugh, yes. You can even relate to some of its parts, but that’s it. Nothing more. 2.5 stars out of 5 for me.
Epic and revolutionary. These are two words that best describes RPG Metanoia. I’ve been wanting to watch this film since the last week of December but failed to squeeze in some time to do so. And finally yesterday, I was able to watch it with my twin brothers and my friend Vienne. I say epic, because it is not your typical Pinoy film and it’s extraordinary. And revolutionary, because this will definitely change people’s view on Philippine animation, being the country’s first full-length 3D film.
The film follows the story of a young boy named Nico, who believes he’s at his best only when playing the online game Metanoia, his friends and their journey in the world of RPG or role-playing game. I myself is an alien in RPGs because I have not played one, but I never got lost in understanding what the story is. And even if it mainly discusses and involves a certain part of this generation, which I won’t hesitate to admit I am not part of, watching it felt like I’m home and that I belong.
Imagine watching a Disney/Pixar film, loving its characters and the way the story is being told, but with Pinoy touch. That’s how great I think this movie is. I especially loved how they relayed the message that there is life outside internet or playing online games. That you may enjoy playing it, but the joy of playing outside on the streets with your friends is more fun. Me and my friend especially enjoyed the part where Nico and his friends were playing patintero, piko, tumbang preso, habulan, siyato, etc. We were like little kids enjoying reminiscing those days when we play those street games. It painted a smile on our faces.
The only (minimal) flaw I noticed was the dubbing/voicing. There are times that the words are not really syncing with the lips of the characters. But that’s understandable, and like I said minimal. All in all, it’s one amazing film we should all be proud of! I’m glad I was able to finally watch it last night. 5 out of 5 stars for me.
So there, I’m not sure if I’ll watch another MMFF movie this week. I think these three would do for me this year. I hope to see more quality Pinoy films next year. Happy 2011, everyone! 🙂