Philippine Movies Thread

Discussion in 'Cinema: International' started by clayton-12, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    @sitenoise

    I wrote a very long review of it on IMDb before. I didn't save it on my files. sad5.gif But I do remember liking it. It has sitenoise movie vibes so I think you will like it.
     
  2. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    An Australian angel pointed me to the, erm, review as I call it, of Ang Babaeng Humayo (The woman who left) I made on October 2016:

    Ang Babaeng Humayo (Lav Diaz, 2016)

    by
    plsletitrain
    » 1 year ago(Oct. 2, 2016, 9:15 p.m.)


    English Translation: The Woman Who Left

    There's a Philippine Movies Thread already but thought I'd make a special thread for this because I think Lav Diaz, out of all Philippine directors, is the most well-loved. Also to let it be known that I deserve another standing ovation for having watched an almost 4-hour film straight at the cinema, without the privilege of that pause button where I could do something else. 

    Anyway, this is my second film from Lav and this film, along with my recollection of Norte, made me realize one very reason why I think Lav perfectly embodies a distinct Philippine director with his own brand: he knows how to depict Philippine society in the simplest way, making long shots that give the viewer the opportunity to observe every angle of the scene. He hasn't been bitten by the Oscar-bait virus because although he depicts about the ills of Philippine society, he does it as genuine and as authentic as possible.

    Ang Babaeng Humayo is a species of its own. It does not have terrorism, poverty, drug addiction or name any other ill of Philippine society here (well technically it has) but Lav didn't put the spotlight there. His spotlight is pointed towards the characters and their emotions.

    Story revolves on the life of Horacia (Charo Santos-Concio) after having been imprisoned for 30-years for a crime she was wrongly accused of. She then embarks on a journey to seek revenge from the mastermind/ex-lover who set her up, Rodrigo Trinidad (played by Michael de Mesa). Along her journey, she meets different personas the most prominent of which were Hollanda (played by John Lloyd Cruz), an epiliptic transgender, Mameng, a borderline-crazy woman who curses Church people, and Kuba, a vendor of balut. Horacia exhibits saintly features here, being very helpful and kind to others (but her lack of concern for her children is quite contradictory). There's a good plot turn (not necessarily a twist) in the end which was quite good. I'm talking about how the "revenge" took place.

    I'm glad that Lav's films get theatrical releases now. It also probably helped that this movie is top billed by an executive of a giant TV network, no? And John Lloyd Cruz. You know, if anyone owned this movie, it has to be JLC. I have a confession to make: I have never been a JLC fan. I acknowledge he can act, but I've never digged him. But after watching this movie, I just gave him a higher form of respect. I don't know what other roles he played before (I've seen him play a mentally deficient boy in The Trial) so I'm not sure if he has played a transgender role already, but he just nailed it in here. He was unrecognizable actually, it took me about how many more scenes before I realized it was him (poor lighting also contributed to it). He also had this womanly thighs and arms that made me think that it was impossible to be him but he really looked like a girl. And he acted like it.

    Second honorable mention would be Nonie Buencamino. He has always been one of the veterans in the country, and he was unsurprisingly brilliant in here as the hunchback ballot vendor who was befriended by Horacia.

    The film is shown in black and white but I saw colors. Maybe because Lav just manages to tell the story colorfully. It had its silent moments, but Lav makes sure you don't get to sleep. He makes sure your eye still studies the entire scene. Everything was natural.


    sitenoise» 1 year ago(Oct. 6, 2016, 6:57 p.m.) The film is shown in black and white but I saw colors. Maybe because Lav just manages to tell the story colorfully.
    Great line!

    Maybe I'll make this my second Lav Diaz film too. I thought you had seen more of his work.

    plsletitrain » 1 year ago(Oct. 6, 2016, 7:07 p.m.)
    Lav's films haven't been released theatrically here until recently. The first one was that 8-hour film I told you guys about(forgot the title) which is erm, kinda, no-way I can sit in the theater through that. The 4 hours was even quite painful to be honest I think I might have slept for a minute there, with just 5 of us in the cinema. This is a good sign though (I just hope the theaters can cover for the income of showing his films). At least we now get to see his films in the big screen and not just the usual money-eating teeny weeny movies.

    -----------------------------------------------

    @sitenoise

    See, I even wrote a sitenoise movie characteristic there: "His spotlight is pointed towards the characters and their emotions."
     
    #82 plsletitrain, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  3. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Ma’ Rosa (Brillante Mendoza, 2016) begins with a lesson in the sari-sari store economy, with large quantities of sweets being purchased at a supermarket, then split up for individual sale. It then adds crystal meth into the equation, and then repeats the lesson, this time applying the same economic principles to community policing.

    Rosa Reyes is the matriarch of a poor but proud family, running a convenience store in the middle of an impoverished, overcrowded district. Her, and the family’s, existence is defined and propelled by the transactional – squeezing, dividing, cajoling anything and everything to a little bit here, a little bit there, but always just money to survive, never enough to actually get ahead. Then one night, the police arrive and arrest Rosa and her husband for dealing small quantities of drugs, and in a scene reminiscent of the horror movie aspects of Kinatay, are driven away from their home turf to a cavernous police station, where they whisked in through a back door to be held as undocumented, anonymous prisoners. The purpose of their arrest has nothing to do with law and order, but rather as an economic activity in itself – the Reyes, their freedom, and the dealers up the chain, become the marketable commodities with which the police can transact and earn their living.

    I suspect not many people are indifferent to Mendoza’s films – if you’ve loved them in the past, you won’t be disappointed with this and if you’ve hated them, this is not going to be a breath of fresh air. But if you’ve never seen any of his work, this might well be a pretty good introduction point. Like a lot of his other work, the film is like a fly on the wall documentary, detailing events within a confined timeframe, long single takes that follow behind characters through an urban landscape that almost becomes a character in its own right, a spare soundtrack that can be quite starling when it kicks in.

    Jaclyn Jose won the best actress at Cannes, for her portrayal of the title character, with a performance that is so understated that it’s sometimes easy to forget that she is acting, instead of just reacting with numb shock to the unfolding events. But although Jose was won the award, I don’t know if she really stood out – the large ensemble cast of Mendoza regulars were all very good … Maria Isabel Lopez almost steals the show with her three minutes of screen time!
     
  4. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Darn you beat me to it! Hehehehe. I'll watch this right away. Wait.
     
  5. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Have you seen My Ex and Whys (2017)? Stars Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil (commonly referred to as "LizQuen").

    I know I'm biased against these types of movies but man, I really just can't. I've heard nothing but positive remarks on this so I had my hopes high and I tried to have an open-mind but really...I stopped at the 15 minute mark. Sorry to be blunt, but Liza Soberano is just really beautiful but she can't act. There's a struggle, it doesn't feel natural, added with her accent...I'm not sold. Enrique Gil also! I must have been sleeping when people saw what they see in the pair for them to go gaga over them. From what I've seen, its supposedly about a woman who's had nothing but bad experiences in her love life, all cheating boyfriends. So she became bitter and.... I don't know. And I don't care.
     
  6. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    No - it got a theatrical release here, but I had better things to do with my time.

    Actually, that sounds horrible. I've only ever seen My Amnesia Girl, but from what I understand, all of Cathy Garcia-Molina's films share the same formula and qualities - glossy, syrupy, extra generous servings of kilig to share among friends at the Cineplex. They are what they are, and I'm lead to believe that the Garcia-Molina brand is so popular because her films are among the best of their peers. They're just not for me.

    Mind you, I think I recall you liked Seven Sundays?
     
  7. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Yes I liked it very much, but its a family movie. And the performances of the actors there were stellar. I'm all for the drama, friendship, family, love....just don't shove LizQuen, KathNiel, or JaDine or any annoying love team here or I'll be on fire!!!!!!!!!

    She has another hit which came out last week, a rom-com that stars Pia Wurtzbach and Gerald Anderson. Its the same face-palm worthy rom-com that will never be a krom-kom.

    By the way, Antoinette Jadaone has an upcoming work, but its a teleserye not a movie. It stars Papa P, Arci Munoz, the Kita Kita cute couple, and JC De Vera. Its teaser trailer was released this week, I've been searching for it on youtube for you to see but I can't find a copy of it. Its quite kilig, the "Alempoy" I mean. If I had to watch that, I'll just watch it for them.
     
    #87 plsletitrain, Mar 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  8. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Just got a heads-up that Netflix has put out Birdshot (with English subs, of course).
     
  9. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Sadly I don't have netflix so I think I'll just wait for your review on this one. I'll keep an eye on it though, online, or if by some stroke of luck this gets a theatrical (re)release in my place. I think the powers-that-be have been hearing our pleas, they're releasing the hidden gems in theaters now, even the ones from last year, but only to select cinemas that aren't near my shores. sad5.gif
     
  10. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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  11. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Not seeing it appear
     
  12. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Birdshot (Mikhail Red, 2016) A young girl lives on farm with her father, caught between the desire to follow in his footsteps and live off the land, while wondering, like her late mother did before her, if there is a better life in the city. In an effort to please her father, she mistakenly shoots and kills an endangered, and microchipped, Philippine eagle. In a parallel storyline, an idealistic young cop discovers the whereabouts of a bus that had vanished mid-route, but no sign of the passengers (shades of Maguindanao, anyone?). The two storylines converge when the cop, having started to uncover some clues as to the mystery of the fate of the bus passengers, is ordered off the case to investigate the more pressing case of the missing eagle.

    That the film is intended to work on the level of political allegory is never in doubt; in the only real moment of humour, much is made of fact that the eagle is a symbol of the Philippines. But it’s also a entirely lucid crime thriller mixed in with a coming-of-age story, with a slight supernatural/spiritual element woven into the mix.

    A lot of Filipino indie cinema is gritty – either urban set drama with neon colour, or the harsh realities of a dusty/muddy rural landscape. But this is really lush – the rural environs like a sun-drenched Garden of Eden, and the urban settings fresh and vibrant. It’s a beautiful looking film, full of some really startling imagery. If I was to level some criticism, I thought that the introduction to the characters in the first 15 minutes or so was all rather clunky, but after the film developed a slow-burn sense of dread, it morphed into something that was really impressive, particularly given the director is some 24 year-old kid. And the ending was perfect.
     
  13. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Thanks for the review @clayton-12 . I will look for it elsewhere. :(
     
  14. ebossert

    ebossert Member: Rank 3

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    I saw Birdshot advertised on the internet somewhere a few days ago. It looks cool. I will watch it soon.
     
  15. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    okay then. Off to the 7-11
     
  16. ebossert

    ebossert Member: Rank 3

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    Thanks for the recommendation on Birdshot. I just finished it and it's really good!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    I just finished watching Birdshot and although by no means it is a bad film, I think it is more of a so-so film rather than a remarkable one. Execution-wise, I think it is of high calibre. My problem lies on the plot. It was too dramatic for my taste. Like the case of Domingguez, the cop. If he was an arrogant rogue cop, I would've screamed "so true!". But he was too much of a heroic policeman, something that usually only exists in movies nowadays. John Arcilla is everywhere these days. But his acting here was more of an overkill. He is a brilliant actor, but he didn't fit the job. He didn't look the part, and it felt too contrived for my taste. The torture scene with Diego was also too dramatic. I didn't roll my eyes, but close to. The young girl had her fair share of the spotlight but it dragged too much to the point that I sometimes question her significance in the film except to kill the eagle and make for the grand ending.

    The bus disappearance sounds like a mash-up between the Maguindanao massacre and the Hacienda Luisita brouhaha so yeah, there has got to have some political color in here somewhere.

    Bonus points for the nature shots, it was very captivating. I could stare at the scenery whole day.

    Overall, I think I'd still recommend this to our friends. Just some improvisation on the 1:55 runtime. It could be cut to a lesser time. And if the characters were made more realistic and relatable, I'd give a 10 to this. For now, I think I'll rate it an 8.
     
  18. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    Just finished the Birdshot and enjoyed it. Kind of a Blood Simple vibe, reasonable mystery/thriller. Nice looking film. I liked a lot of the way the director (I assume) chose his shots. A little quibble that sometimes things were too dark for me to see--though this could be my playback scenario. Like the time the girl looks outside at night, I was sure there was something there but it took a few spins and pauses to get it ... and then after seeing the guy (was it the environmental guy who noticed her necklace--or is this the supernatural spice?) I couldn't believe I couldn't see it.

    I wanted the girl to shoot the guy at the end. I thought she was getting her breathing in sync with his. I loved that piece of wisdom. And/but, color me stupid -- what was up with the mass grave? Were they buried that poorly or did I miss something that caused them to surface? Supernatural spice?
     
  19. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    I think the mass grave was a reference (implied or obvious) to the deadliest attack on journalists that happened in the Philippines. It's called the Maguindanao massacre--Maguindanao being the name of the place where the massacre occurred. Groups of mediamen and politicians were on their way (or from) filing of their Certificates of Candidacy when the opposing political clan ambushed their convoy and buried their bodies in the mass grave. Even their vehicles were covered to conceal the crime. The excavation site was later discovered, with a sight of big equipments and backhoes. There were several casualties. In relation to the movie, it was the crime being investigated by the lead cop.
     
  20. sitenoise

    sitenoise Member: Rank 5

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    I got all that. I was asking why they were buried so poorly. I mean, if you are trying to hide something by burying it, why leave half of it sticking up out of the ground? or did I miss something that caused them to surface?
     

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