Archive for July 2012

Cinemalaya 2012 Predictions   2 comments

NEW BREED CATEGORY

1. Best Sound
Will Win: Ang Nawawala
Could Win: Aparisyon
Should Win: Ang Nawawala

2. Best Original Music Score
Will Win: Aparisyon
Could Win: Santa Nina
Should Win: Aparisyon

3. Best Editing
Will Win: Aparisyon
Could Win: The Animals
Should Win: Aparisyon

4. Best Production Design
Will Win: Oros
Could Win: Aparisyon
Should Win: Ang Nawawala

5. Best Cinematography
Will Win: Santa Nina
Could Win: Aparisyon
Should Win: Santa Nina

6. Best Screenplay
Will Win: REquieme!
Could Win: Ang Nawawala
Should Win: Requieme!

7. Best Performance of a Supporting Actor
Will Win: Anthony Falcon, REquieme!
Could Win: Ronnie Lazaro, Ang Katiwala
Should Win: Anthony Falcon, REquieme!

8. Best Performance of a Supporting Actress
Will Win: Anita Linda, Santa Nina
Could Win: Fides Cuyugan Asencio, Aparisyon
Should Win: Annicka Dolonius, Ang Nawawala

9. Best Direction
Will Win: Vincent Sandoval, Aparisyon
Could Win: Emmanuel Palo, Santa Nina
Should Win: Vincent Sandoval, Aparisyon

10. Best Performance of an Actor
Will Win: Coco Martin, Santa Nina
Could Win: Kristoffer King, Oros
Should Win: Dominic Roco, Ang Nawawala

11. Best Performance of an Actress
Will Win: Shamaine Buencamino, REquieme!
Could Win: LJ Reyes, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino
Should Win: Shamaine Buencamino, REquieme!

12. Best Film
Will Win: Aparisyon
Could Win: Santa Nina
Should Win: Aparisyon

13. Special Jury Prize
Will Win: Santa Nina
Could Win: Oros
Should Win: Ang Nawawala

14. Audience Choice
Will Win: Ang Nawawala

DIRECTORS SHOWCASE AWARD
1. Best Sound
Will Win: Kalayaan
Could Win: Kamera Obskura
Should Win: Kalayaan

2. Best Original Music Score
Will Win: Kalayaan
Could Win: Posas
Should Win: Kalayaan

3. Best Editing
Will Win: Posas
Could Win: Kalayaan
Should Win: Kalayaan

4. Best Production Design
Will Win: Kamera Obskura
Could Win: Bwakaw
Should Win: Kamera Obskura

5. Best Cinematography
Will Win: Kalayaan
Could Win: Kamera Obskura
Should Win: Kalayaan

6. Best Screenplay
Will Win: Bwakaw
Could Win: Mga Mumunting Lihim
Should Win: Bwakaw

7. Best Performance of a Supporting Actor
Will Win: Art Acuna, Posas
Could Win: Joey Paras, Bwakaw
Should Win: Art Acuna, Posas

8. Best Performance of a Supporting Actress
Will Win: Agot Isidro, Mga Mumunting Lihim
Could Win: Janice de Belen, Mga Mumunting Lihim
Should Win: Agot Isidro, Mga Mumunting Lihim

9. Best Direction
Will Win: Adolf Alix Jr, Kalayaan
Could Win: Raymund Red, Kamera Obskura
Should Win: Adolf Alix Jr, Kalayaan

10. Best Performance of an Actor
Will Win: Eddie Garcia, Bwakaw
Could Win: Ping Medina, Kamera Obskura
Should Win: Eddie Garcia, Bwakaw

11. Best Performance of an Actress
Will Win: Judy Ann Santos, Mga Mumunting Lihim
Could Win: Iza Calzado, Mga Mumunting Lihim
Should Win: Judy Ann Santos, Mga Mumunting Lihim

12. Best Film
Will Win: Kalayaan
Could Win: Kamera Obskura
Should Win: Kalayaan

13. Special Jury Prize
Will Win: Bwakaw
Could Win: Kamera Obskura
Should Win: Bwakaw

14. Audience Choice
Will Win: Bwakaw
Could Win: Mga Mumunting Lihim

Posted July 29, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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2012 Cinemalaya Final Recap   Leave a comment


Photo courtesy of clickthecity.com

Now that I am done doing a review of all the films in competition at this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival, here’s a recap of who were my picks and rankings of all films in general.

BEST PICTURE:
1. Kalayaan (Adolf Alix Jr. ) – 4.5/5
2. Aparisyon (Vincent Sandoval) – 4.5/5
3. Ang Nawawala (Marie Jamora) – 4.5/5
4. REquieme! (Loy Arcenas) – 4.5/5
5. Santa Nina (Emmanuel Palo) – 4/5
6. Bwakaw (Jun Lana) – 4/5
7. The Animals (Gino M. Santos) – 3.5/5
8. Mga Mumunting Lihim (Joey Reyes) – 3.5/5
9. Diablo (Mes de Guzman) – 3/5
10. Oros (Paul Sta. Ana) – 3/5
11. Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino (Lemuel Lorca) – 3/5
12. Kamera Obskura (Raymond Red) – 2.5/5
13. Mga Dayo (Julius Cena) – 2.5/5
14. Posas (Lawrence Fajardo) – 2.5/5
15. Ang Katiwala (Aloy Adlawan) – 2/5

DIRECTOR: Vincent Sandoval (Aparisyon)
Runner up: Adolf Alix (Kalayaan)

SCREENPLAY: 
Marie Jamora and Ramon de Veyra (Ang Nawawala)
Runner Up: Rody Vera (Requieme!)

LEAD ACTOR: Dominic Roco (Ang Nawawala)
Number 2: Eddie Garcia (Bwakaw)
Number 3: Kristoffer King (Oros)
Number 4: Pen Medina (Kamera Obskura)
Number 5: Coco Martin (Santa Nina)

LEAD ACTRESS: Shamaine Centenera Buencamino (REquieme!)
Number 2: Ama Quiambao (Diablo)
Number 3: Olga Natividad (Mga Dayo)
Number 4: Jodi Sta. Maria (Aparisyon)
Number 5: LJ Reyes (Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Anthony Falcon (REquieme!)
Number 2: Art Acuna (Posas)
Number 3: Ronnie Lazaro (Ang Katiwala)
Number 4: Zanjoe Marudo (Kalayaan)
Number 5: Kristoffer Martin (Oros)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Fides Cuyugan Asencio (Aparisyon)
Number 2: Agot Isidro (Mga Mumunting Lihim)
Number 3: Anicka Dolonius (Ang Nawawala)
Number 4: Anita Linda (Santa Nina)
Number 5: Angelina Kanapi (Ang Katiwala)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Trinka Lat (Ang Nawawala)
Runner Up: Daniel Red, Cesar Hernando (Kamera Obskura)

COSTUME DESIGN: Ang Nawawala
Runner Up: Kalayaan… joke. Uhm.. Aparisyon.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Albert Banzon (Kalayaan)
Runner Up: Nor Domingo (Santa Nina)

EDITING: Jerrold Tarog and Vincent Sandoval (Aparisyon)
Runner Up: Aleks Castaneda (Kalayaan)

SCORE: Teresa Barrozo (Aparisyon)
Runner Up: Teresa Barrozo (Kalayaan)

SOUND: Ditoy Aguila (Kalayaan)
Runner Up: Ditoy Aguila (Ang Nawawala)

ENSEMBLE: Aparisyon
Runner up: Mga Mumunting Lihim

Posted July 29, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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8th Cinemalaya Film Festival Review: Part 4   1 comment

Today marks the last day of the 8th Cinemalaya Indepedent Film Festival, and my experience has been a blast. I’m still deciding if I’ll attend the awards night later (depends if the rain decides to stop), but I’m hoping you all get to see majority of the films in Greenbelt and Trinoma cinemas this day.

Now, this contains the last part of my Cinemalaya coverage by doing a review of the three remaining films. So far, I have covered Mga Mumunting Lihim, Kamera Obskura, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, and Kalayaan during the first batch which you can find here. The second one included The Animals, Bwakaw, Mga Dayo, and Ang Nawawala which you can read here. Yesterday, I reviewed Oros, REquieme, Santa Nina, and Posas here.

Here we go with the last batch:

DIABLO
Director: Mes de Guzman
Starring: Ama Quiambao, Carlo Aquino, Roeder Camanag, Arnold Reyes
Competition: New Breed

Nanay Lusing who lives alone in an old house deals with the different directions and fates of her five sons.

de Guzman does a very interesting job in getting the audience invested with the direction that the film wants to go to, and once it hits its stride, it gives a good portrayal of a mother who’s alone and the five different sons living five different lives. However, the main problem I had with the film was that it took a long time before it reached that point, and the slow pace affected the overall film. Nevertheless, it is filled with good performances from the always capable Carlo Aquino to character actors who played Nanay Lusing’s sons (Aquino, Arnold Reyes, Jose Escobedo, Fredie dela Cruz, and Roeder Camanag), but it was bittersweet to see Ama Quiambao get lead credits and deliver as the matriarch of the family.

Rating: 3 / 5

APARISYON
Director: Vincent Sandoval
Starring: Mylene Dizon, Jodi Sta. Maria, Fides Asensio, Raquel Villavicencio
Competition: New Breed

A life changing incident involving Sister Lourdes (Sta. Maria) and Sister Ruth (Dizon) changed the monastery headed by Sister Ruth (Asensio) with close assistant Sister Vera (Villavicencio).

The moment the movie started, it already gave you a clear atmosphere of the coldness and mystery that’s bound to happen as the film goes on. This one clearly exceeded expectations when it carefully and intricately highlighted the fear, the suspense, and the drama without bordering on boring or preachy territory. I also liked how the movie did not pretend to play safe, it was as intense and arresting as one can get. I’d specifically like to single out the cinematography, and Teresa Barrozo’s haunting score won me over. That and the fact that the four female cast all gave convincing and effective performance that it’s hard to single out who takes the cake. All in all, if this one wins awards later, call it a very deserving sweep.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

ANG KATIWALA
Director: Aloy Adlawan
Starring: Dennis Trillo, Ronnie Lazaro, Angelina Kanapi, Althea Vega
Competition: New Breed

A caretaker of a former president’s house starts to inhibit the characteristics of his new idol.

There’s way too much potential that lies about the story of Aloy Adlawan’s “Ang katiwala”, but it seems that the filmmaker has no idea to which direction he wants the movie to take, so (imagine Michelle Branch singing this part) he did a little bit of this, a little bit of that. The end result is a mix of historical lessons, action film, a comedy, and drama. Clearly, the movie showed some potential at the start but only to see it go nowhere and as a whole, it is literally just the sum of its parts. It’s good to see Dennis Trillo getting interesting projects again, and his acting is better than what his mainstream project demands him to do, but it was supporting cast Ronnie Lazaro and Angelina Kanapi who stole the scenes every time they’re on screen.

Rating: 2 / 5

That’s it! I’m done covering all ten movies in the New Breed section, and the five films in the Directors Showcase. I’m wishing all the films a good luck at the awards ceremony later, and this has been one fun Cinemalaya experience. Until next year! 🙂

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

8th Cinemalaya Film Festival Review: Part 3   8 comments

Hi everyone! How’s your weekend? In case you have no idea how to spend today and tomorrow, I’ll suggest you head over at the CCP (or even Glorietta and Trinoma) to catch the movies of Cinemalaya 2012 for this year. They’re worth the admission price that you”ll pay. In line with that, this part will cover the next four movie reviews of films from this year’s edition.

As a guide, here is the first part of my review covering Mga Mumunting Lihim, Kamera Obskura, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, and Kalayaan. The second part is this one and covers The Animals, Bwakaw, Mga Dayo, and Ang Nawawala.

OROS
Director: Paul Sta. Ana
Starring: Kristoffer King, Kristoffer Martin, Tanya Gomez
Competition: New Breed

This one gives viewers a look on the business of buying claimed bodies and holding wakes in order to gain more money via different means of gambling specifically sakla and tongits.

Oros gives a pretty accurate and specific portrayal of the topic that it covered, though I can’t help but notice that it tends to go overboard with its poverty porn treatment. For what its worth though, there’s a lot of discovery that one learns while watching the film. Ending is pretty much a give away though; thus, it lessened the actual impact that it was hoping to achieve. Kristoffer King gave a very competent leading performance, while Kristoffer Martin was a surprise as King’s younger brother. I’m not a fan of the shaky camera, but the movie is still serviceable with some commendable highlights in it.

Rating: 3 / 5

REquieme!
Director: Loy Arcenas
Starring: Shamaine Centenera Buencamino, Rez Cortez, Anthony Falcon
Competition: New Breed

REquieme tells somewhat related stories involving a funeral: the first one deals with a barangay captain (Centenera) who wants to bring home the body of a claimed distant relative who is a suspect in the killing of a famous world designer. The second one is about Joanna (Tolentino) who gives a neighbor, who served as his father figure, a deserving funeral. In between this, there’s also a story of a body that can’t seem to find its way home.

This one comes off as a surprise for me, as I certainly loved every minute of it. While the hilarious moments are indeed tummy aching, I find it more as an inspired avenue to tackle, highlight and realize Filipino characteristics especially those that involves connecting one’s name to fame. Anchored by the great Shamaine Centenera Buencamino (who’s 2 for 2 now in terms of giving memorable Cinemalaya performances after last year’s Nino), and a breakout performance by Anthony Falcon (who steals every scene he’s in), REquieme is one of those movies in this batch that definitely stood out.

Rating: 4.5 /5

SANTA NIÑA
Director: Emmanuel Palo
Starring: Coco Martin, Alessandra de Rossi, Anita Linda, Irma Adlawan
Competition: New Breed

When Paulino (Martin) discovered that the remains of his two year old daughter Marikit did not even decay a bit, this led to the questions of one’s faith and unraveling of secrets that were kept too long already.

It is difficult to tackle themes of faith in Filipino movies especially since there’s this one movie called Himala that set the bar too high for others to follow suit. However, Santa Nina does a good job in covering the said theme while adding layers of family drama and secrets of the past in the mix. The shots and technical aspects were very commendable; I specifically like the palette that they used in the movie. Coco Martin was serviceable in his job, though signs of too much television drama appear every now and then. His chemistry with Alessandra de Rossi is very natural though. Anita Linda and Irma Adlawan both have vital roles that managed to stand on their own during some parts of the movie.I felt that the movie was some minutes longer, and it could have ended on a different manner, but this one possesses good merits in it for me not to appreciate the film as a whole.

Rating: 4/ 5

POSAS
Director: Lawrence Fajardo
Starring: Nico Antonio, Art Acuña, Bangs Garcia, Jake Macapagal
Competition: New Breed

A day in the life of a thief as we get to see a blow by blow account of what happens once he gets under the fingers of police authority.

I feel this one has a been-there-done-that feeling, as the first film that comes to mind was Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay. Both movies follow one momentous day in the life of the main character when he gets under a circumstance that he doesn’t want to be into, and he faces the consequences of the said situation. Having said that, this one (like Oros) gives a specific and detailed portrayal of the topic that it wants to cover. The saving grace of the film was Acuña’s terrific acting as the head police officer, and John Lapuz’s storyline as another victim, but it lacks the impact that will make the movie memorable enough once the credits roll.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

12 down, 3 more left. Last batch contains the last three movies left in the festival (Aparisyon, Diablo, and Ang Katiwala). Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

8th Cinemalaya Film Festival Review: Part 2   6 comments

Here’s the second part of my Cinemalaya reviews. Don’t forget to come over at the CCP to catch the movies for yourself. The first part covered Mga Mumunting Lihim, Kamera Obskura, Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, and Kalayaan. You can check them out here. Now, here are four other movies that I’ll review:

THE ANIMALS
Director: Gino M. Santos
Starring: Albie Casino, Patrick Sugui, Dawn Balagot
Competition: New Breed

A day in the life of three upper class teenage students who attend a party that will forever change their life. Jake (Casino) is the host of the biggest party before high school ends, Trina (Balagot) is his klepto girlfriend, while Alex (Sugui) is his brother who is applying to a high school fraternity.

As for starters, I love how the treatment focused on the three characters themselves. Movies about a certain generation has been done many times before, but I specifically notice the energy that the film displays in the characters, scenes, and dialogue in the movie. The aforementioned energy is what makes the movie interesting. I also liked how it’s as raw as one can get, and while some scenes can be very predictable, it depicts the truth that lies beyond the characters from puking in toilets, nipslips, and blabbing drivers of rich kids. The parting shot of the film is probably my favorite; it was expected yet it still stays with you and stays true to what the title and the story of the film suggests. Also, Albie Casino, Patrick Sugui, and Dawn Baalgot are revelations in the film and contributed a large part with the depiction of their characters. While it is very easy to accuse that Santos is all style no substance with this one; however, I particularly liked various things about the movie which showed his potentials as a filmmaker.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

BWAKAW
Director: Jun Lana
Starring: Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Soxy Topacio, Beverly Salviejo, Gardo Versoza
Competition: Directors Showcase

Rene (Garcia) is an old gay man living alone. His only companion is his dog Bwakaw. He has been waiting for a long time, anticipating his death until he  finds both a surprise and a new reason to live.

I’m not a fan of previous Lana works, but I dare say this is his best film to date. I’m a big sucker for films dealing with a person’s loneliness, and I think that the film’s strongest suit lies beyond the writing of the character of Rene. Rene is alone and longing; he is anticipating for his death yet he seems to start a new life when he finds his first love. He does not believe in God, but he leaves his will to a priest. It is with this strong characterization that makes Rene a human being, and that was translated well from the screen to the audience. Somehow, I think that the movie is too long, though it balances comedy and drama perfectly that one won’t really get bothered by the long running time. Eddie Garcia showed no sign of aging when it comes to his performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins awards for it. The surprise though is the very good supporting cast from Rez Cortez to Soxie Topacio to my favorite Joey Paras; it shows that while it’s an Eddie Garcia vehicle, the movie can still accommodate the greatness of the rest of the cast. Both funny and touching, I find this as one of the more enjoyable entries of this year’s filmfest.

Rating: 4 / 5

MGA DAYO
Director: Julius Cena
Starring: Sue Prado, Janela Buhain, Olga Natividad
Competition: New Breed

Set during America’s favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, Mga Dayo features three different stories of women all dealing with their green card. The first one is a hotel cleaner who petitioned her 88 year old Mom to come liver with her in Guam because her mother wants to see America. The second one enters a fixed marriage with a friend just so she won’t be sent back to the Philippines. The third one is a journalist writer who is currently dealing with a broken heart.

For a movie that contains three different stories (not interrelated with each other, aside from the common theme that they all have issues with their green card), it’s not easy to totally be invested with which is which. However, it is pretty surprising that the movie ended quickly, and the revelation scenes of their fate did not leave that much of an impact as what was expected. There were really moments that will get you, opening the way for you to understand but once you start to do so, it suddenly ends. The saving grace of the film are Prado’s and Natividad’s performances, but overall, this leaves you a feeling that there’s still something that can be further covered, but it did not do so.

Grade: 2.5 / 5

ANG NAWAWALA
Director: Marie Jamora
Starring: Dominic Roco, Felix Roco, Dawn Zulueta, Buboy Garovillo
Competition: New Breed

Ang Nawawala tells the story of Gibson Bonifacio (Roco) who stopped speaking when he was young, and now that he’s back in the country for good, he deals with his broken family, and having his first attempt at love.

Let me start by saying that this is my favorite in the New Breed category films. This film does not require you to be critical of the technical aspects or the script or the acting, but more of tugging your heart with the emotional investment that you’ll feel for the characters in the film. The music served as a critical and necessary addition in exposing and understanding Gibson and the situation that he has been into. This is in no way a pioneer or even groundbreaking in terms of tackling the theme of family and love, but it leaves enough impact once the lights appear at the end of the film. I also like the portrayal of the family with Buboy Garovillo as the passive yet understanding and Dawn Zulueta as the aloof and strict mother. Annicka Dolonius gives a great breakthrough performance, but it was Dominic Roco who holds the whole cast altogether. He is heartbreaking, optimistic, and shy all rolled into one, and Roco exuded all of it in the movie. Once you leave the theaters, you can’t help but smile and get carried with Marie Jamora’s charming effort. Definitely a must see.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

There you have it. Next up: another batch of four Cinemalaya movies. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

8th Cinemalaya Film Festival Review: Part 1   7 comments

The biggest Philippine independent film festival has already begun, and this year marks the 8th edition of Cinemalaya. I’ve been going back and forth at the CCP for the last few days, so I can watch all the participating movies both in the New Breed and Directors Showcase categories. Here’s the first of my four part Cinemalaya reviews:

MGA MUMUNTING LIHIM
Director: Jose Javier Reyes
Starring: Judy Ann Santos, Iza Calzado, Janice de Belen, and Agot Isidro
Competition: Directors Showcase

When Mariel (Santos) died, she left a box to her best friend Carla (Calzado) containing all of her diaries back when she started writing one. As Carla reads all of them, secrets between her, Mariel, Sandra (Isidro), and Olive (de Belen) started to affect their friendship.

This is Jose Javier Reyes’ first foray into indie filmmaking, and this shows some potential. I have issues with the treatment of the movie as a whole, and the sound seems to inconsistent at times. However, whatever issues you have with the film won’t bother you that much when you focus on the two greatest aspects of the movie: the writing and the acting. Reyes’s lines seem straight out of his personal journal as well, and it’s pretty obvious that he has a lot of inspiration when he was writing this. While one may think that it may be exaggerated, I claim to say that it is rather truthful. The other strength lies within the acting; the four leads can carry the whole film on their shoulders and yet remain as interesting. The chemistry was prevalent, and whether it was Iza’s stares, Judai’s facial expressions, Agot’s delivery, or Janice’s cussing, it was all very natural. Part of me thinks that they did cast lesser known actors as it’s difficult to hold up with this great ensemble. That alone is worth the ticket. All in all, it was a very realistic portrayal of friendship that is relatable to everyone.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

KAMERA OBSKURA
Director: Raymond Red
Starring: Ping Medina, Joel Torre, Nanding Josef
Competition: Directors Showcase

A man locked inside a cell for many years finally makes his way out and as he gets to see the reality of the world when he mysteriously traveled a building with a video camera in hand as he sees activities of betrayal and corruption left and right.

I admit that this is the film that I’m excited the most; thus, it has the highest expectations I have for the whole festival, and it certainly did not live up to its expectations. For one, the potential was there; but the treatment was pretty redundant especially the first and last scene where they almost used the same script, as I feel it did not gel well with the rest of the film. For a silent film, I find it too loud with all the unnecessary sound effects used. Add the fact that it was too wordy as well. I also had issues with the too much “in your face” with the message that it wants to deliver. Still, there were also great spots that the film possesses. One, Pen Medina was charismatic in the lead role and suits with the direction Red wants to be in to. Even his son Ping Medina (who played the young Pen) was a treat albeit short appearance. I also like the visuals of the film, as they were detailed, and parallel to the message it wants to present. For what it’s worth, this one suffers from some issues but still brings in a pretty much enjoyable film watching experience.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

INTOY SYOKOY NG KALYE MARINO
Director: Lemuel Lorca
Starring: JM de Guzman, LJ Reyes, Joross Gamboa
Competition: New Breed

Intoy (de Guzman), now living alone, learns that the love of his life Doray (Reyes) is the town’s prostitute. Now he tries his best to earn an extra amount of money so they can both start life anew, until a new set of unsolvable problems lead their way.

At times, the movie tends to be pretty formulaic with the sequence of events happening in the film. I also noticed some repetitive shots in various scenes in the movie. However, the heart and soul of the film is Intoy himself. JM de Guzman was captivating and heartbreaking as the lead character. You can feel the energy, the enthusiasm, the heartbreak, and the innocence in his face. He was perfectly casted, and he definitely delivered. LJ Reyes was also excellent as Doray Langaw, and his chemistry with de Guzman is palpable. I also particularly liked how they made Kalye Marino as another character in the movie bringing it to life and translating it to the audience. The movie somehow can’t prevent itself from going poverty porn at times, but I totally bought the emotions they showed especially the one between the two leads.

Rating: 3 / 5

KALAYAAN
Director: Adolf Alix Jr.
Starring: Ananda Everingham, Zanjoe Marudo, Luis Alandy
Competition: Directors Showcase

A soldier living alone in Kalayaan Islands deals a daily repetitive schedule as he spends his last few remaining days in the middle of the Erap impeachment trial.

I was surprised to learn that this is already Adolf Alix’s 20th movie, but seeing this shows that he has already mastered his craft and has achieved growth if you go way back to his earlier films. I actually find this film very therapeutic; each scene brings you right where the character is, and the good thing about it is that it lingers. I particularly liked how we just go with the flow with Victor (Everingham) feeling for him, understanding him, and living with him. Once the characters of Zanjoe Marudo (who definitely brought humor and comedic relief) and Luis Alandy, we tend to get more intrigued, yet understand the life that they are living in Kalayaan Islands. This one has part fantasy, part horror, and part comedy, but the sum is greater than all of its parts. I really like the cinematography, and the musical score above everything else. Once the credits rolled, you feel that you’ve known enough yet you ask some more. This is probably my favorite film for this year’s festival, and for the year (so far) as well.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

64th Emmy Nominations: The Good, The Effin Ugly, and the Interesting   Leave a comment

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were finally revealed this morning by ABC star Kerry Washington and eventual host Jimmy Kimmel because first mentioned announcer Nick Offerman can’t make it due to bad weather reasons. First things first, cross out the fact that Offerman skipped because he learned he wasn’t nominated (That’s some bull. Both the idea and the fact that he really wasn’t nominated) or that the Emmys did not nominate him because he backed out (The nominations were already set in stone even before he made the call of missing the nominations). Anyway, Lena Dunham and Downton Abbey turned out to be the stars of the five minute announcement, but here are my detailed reactions classified into three groups:

THE GOOD:

* VEEP makes it in for series. Damn that was really surprising, and while I predicted it, it’s more of a wishful thinking than a prediction. Never mind the fact that it only got three nods and that it really has no shot of winning, but the thought that it was nominated for comedy’s top award is already enough for me.

* COMMUNITY finally breaks through with its first Emmy nod, and it’s for the season’s best episode Remedial Chaos Theory. I know, I know. This won’t diminish the fact that Community will still be canceled after next season, but being assured that the Emmys know that the show exists is enough for me. Okay scratch that, IT MUST WIN WRITING!

* GLEE’s total nomination is THREE. Yes, that’s half of the number of Modern Family mainstays that were nominated, or the number of female acting nominees that Downton Abbey got, or one less than Lena Dunham’s total nominations. Let me say that Dot Marie Jones still doesn’t deserve that nod, but I won’t contemplate on it that much.

* WE finally bid goodbye to Mariska Hargitay. Yaaaaay! It was 2008 when we started wishing that she’ll leave the group, and our wish was finally granted. The same can be said for Kyra Sedgwick (girl be thankful you won in 2010), Neil Patrick Harris (babye), and Hugh Laurie (no Emmy for Dr. Gregory House).

* THE VOICE scoring its much deserved Emmy nod. I’d argue that it also deserved an Emmy for its pilot episode last season, but I’m just happy that the show is finally recognized on the same year that American Idol was snubbed. I’d say it’s a three way toss up among Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice.

* EMMY NOMINEE NICOLE KIDMAN. I’m slowly accepting the fact that it’s Julianne’s to lose, and that she’s the frontrunner, but inside, I’m still wishing Kidman pulls an upset.

* MUCH DESERVED nominations for Martha Plimpton, Jeremy Davies, Maya Rudolph, Benedict, Cumberbatch, Anna Gunn, Mythbusters, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and Uma Thurman.

THE EFFIN UGLY

* WHAT THE EFF IS WRONG WITH THE COMEDY SERIES LINE UP? While I’m fine with Girls, Modern Family, 30 Rock, and Veep, and I don’t watch Curb Your Enthusiasm but have already accepted the fact that it will get nominated a long time ago, I’m gonna throw all my hate bone to The Big Bang Theory. I’m fine with Parsons being nominated and I’m even ecstatic that Bialik got some notice, but come on voters, PARKS AND FUCKIN RECREATION! and even LOUIE! What stings more about Parks (despite last season being better than this one) is that it got a nod when it’s just the little show that could. Now that it managed its way to an Emmyseries nod last year, they suddenly dropped it?

* What does Nick Offerman need to do in order to get nominated? Granted it’s not his best season, but they could have played catch up with him. Latest Emmy nom count: Chris Colfer – 2; Nick Offerman – 0.

* Lots of snubs among expected frontrunners across the board. Matthew Perry dominates Guest Actor, Drama? Nada. Louise Fletcher is frontrunner for Guest Actress? Snubbed! Kelsey Grammer as the one to give Bryan Cranston a run for his money? Not happening.  Betty White upsets Supporting Actress Comedy? Don’t count on it. In general, it’s a bad day for predictors. LELZ.

* The hard on for Jon Cryer. Yes, it was already expected, but it’s his seventh consecutive nomination. Srsly? Where’s the love for Adam Scott, Joel McHale, or even Elijah Wood?

* Excuse me but snubbing Jane Krakowski on her best season yet is unforgivable…unless you give her an Emmy next year.

* FYI EMMYS, THESE SHOWS EXIST: Happy Endings, Shameless and Parenthood (outside of guest acting), Fringe, Southland, Cougar Town, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, and Revenge. Most of them deserve Emmy mentions in major categories.

THE INTERESTING

* Lena Dunham got four nods for acting, producing, writing, and directing. This might still end up with zero wins. Similarly, Louis CK got seven nods (a record!) for writing, directing and acting on Louie then writing, directing, producing, and editing his comedy stand up special. If he goes home empty handed, he’ll also get a record for that.

* Of the 12 series nods, nine came from cable with CBS, ABC, and NBC getting one a piece. This is somewhat alarming, and if before, we think that drama is for cable and comedy is for network TV, the same can’t be said now with HBO dominating 3 out of the 6 comedy series nods.

* There’s finally a Jeff Probst fatigue now to the point of not even nominating him. Who replaces him? Betty White. Now we know who’ll win.

* American Horror Story raked in the most nominations with 17 (tied with Mad Men) after its shift in the Movie/Miniseries category. Even Ashley Judd managed a Best Actress nod. Let’s see if this trend will continue in the next few years.

* Whoever said that it’s the Oscars who gets a hard on to everything British related, let’s all welcome the Emmys as they showered Downton Abbey with a Series, Directing, Writing, and six Emmy acting nods. It’s all or nothing for Donwton Abbey, and the Emmys decided to go all the way. Now, it’s the only series I see unseating Mad Men for that historic fifth Drama Series win.

* Speaking of the Oscars, aren’t you all intrigued that the Oscars, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and the Tonys are up against each other in the Best Special Class Act program. That means hosts Billy Crystal, LL Cool J, Ricky Gervais, and Neil Patrick Harris are up for the awards as well.

* Based on early response with the nominations, it looks like Mad Men vs Downton Abbey for Drama Series and Modern Family vs Girls for Comedy Series.

* I still have mixed feelings with all these nominations, and I still prefer last year’s group of nominees, but to say that I’m not excited is complete and utter bull. Let’s bring it on with the submissions and off to the winners predictions. 😀

To see the complete Emmy nominations list, click here.

Posted July 20, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, TV

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