Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2012 Review: Part 1   5 comments

It’s the time again for Philippine film festivals. While Cinemalaya holds its own on July, December seems to be the busiest month, as we get to have the Cinema One Originals, Cinemanila, and the Metro Manila Film Festival. Isn’t it funny to put MMFF on the same sentence as the other two? Hahaha. Oh well. I’m really finding it hard to fix a schedule this December to cater all of these, but let’s get it on! Last Saturday, I started my Cinema One Originals marathon, and this is the first of my three part festival review.

Disclaimer: I won’t get the chance to see Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim until Cinemanila, so m review for it will be later than the rest.

Mamay Umeng

MAMAY UMENG
Director: Dwein Baltazar
Starring: Gerry Adeva, Sue Prado, Crizzalyn Enriquez
Competition: Cinema One Currents

It follows the life of Mamay Umeng (Gerry Adeva) as he waits for his impending death.

Once the opening shot sets in, it invites you in to this particular atmosphere that makes you a part of the waiting. There’s a lot of long steady shots in here which might not be for impatient casual watchers, but that’s where the film lies its strength. It doesn’t need a lot of dialogue in it, but it speaks a lot more than that. Mamay Umeng’s waiting becomes more interesting when it speaks to you how much he’s already ready about it, yet you still see the things he do and accomplish in the process. It is here where you get to appreciate him more. Plus points to the score in the movie.

Rating: 4/5

Mater Dolorosa

MATER DOLOROSA
Director: Adolf Alix Jr
Starring: Gina Alajar, Cogie Domingo, Carlo Aquino, Alessandra de Rossi
Competition: Cinema One Plus

The matriarch of a family (Gina Alajar) that is involved with a lot of crime-related businesses is put into a test both as a mother to her family and as a head of their businesses.

As it reminds me more of an Animal Kingdom than a Godfather, what I like about about it is that it gives you a direct portrayal of what it wants you to see. The capability of Lourdes Lagrimas (Alajar) to survive and fight for what’s her is what holds to be the single puzzle piece that connects them all together. And of course, Gina Alajar takes the character of Lourdes a step further by giving her a memorable and impressive portrayal that is worthy of Best Actress nominations. Cinematography was commendable, and a candidate for ensemble of the year. With Kalayaan last Cinemalaya and Mater Dolorosa in a year, Alix’s versatility is definitely more prevalent than ever, and it makes him as one of the more exciting directors around.

Grade: 4.5/5

Slumber Party

SLUMBER PARTY
Director: Emmanuel dela Cruz
Starring: Archie Alemania, Markki Stroem, RK Bagatsing, Sef Cadayona
Competition: Cinema One Currents

On the eve of Miss Universe 2010 pageant, a slumber party of three gay friends (Alemania, Stroem, Bagatsing) becomes more interesting when they took hostage a neophyte thief (Cadayona) in their house.

No doubt about it, Slumber Party is hilarious and a riot. With that said, it also tends to go overboard most of the time. The drama that ensues mid-way is too much to handle and bordering on cringe-worthy. When it suddenly shifts to comedy, it works again, then it shows another sign of potential to cross over dramatic territory, and it makes you think “When does this end?” If anything, I see it as some sort of parallelism of the characterization of gay people’s friendship in general. The length of the film is too long for me, but I’ll push that it deserves a watch just to see a Best Actor performance from Archie Alemania. Markki Stroem and RK Bagatsing delivered as well, and Sef Cadayona showed real potential especially when he acts only with his eyes (which is most of the time). Also, a flamboyant Nino Muhlach steals the last act of the show.

Grade: 2/5

EDSA XXX
EDSA XXX
Director: Khavn dela Cruz
Starring: Jeffrey Quizon, Sheree, Althea Vega
Competition: Cinema One Currents

A musical satire on the impacts of EDSA revolutions on Philippine history.

Pronounced as EDSA Trenta (EDSA XXX), it’s really hard to make a review of movies that were unfinished, and director Khavn dela Cruz mentioned that this is not the complete vision that he had for this film; thus he’s pulling it out from the competition category, but he still gave us a glimpse of what was done so far. From what we’ve seen though, the film can stand on its own and it’s not as if what we’ve been served is a mess. Mind you, this is the first film of him that I’ve seen so there’s no comparison that I can use per se, but I actually liked it. It took me a while before I can finally set in to what he wants to accomplish, but once it got its stride, this is an enjoyable and witty take on EDSA revolution. Lots of LSS-worthy numbers, and I like the use of Corregidor as its setting. The last song lingers the most and makes for an excellent closure to the movie.

Grade: 3.5/5

Advertisements

5 responses to “Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2012 Review: Part 1

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: EDSA XXX « Pinoy Rebyu

  2. Pingback: Slumber Party « Pinoy Rebyu

  3. Pingback: Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2012 Review: Part 2 « TIT FOR TAT

  4. Pingback: Mater Dolorosa « Pinoy Rebyu

  5. Pingback: Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2012 Review: Part 3 « TIT FOR TAT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: