MMFF 2016: Saving Sally and Seklusyon

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wikipedia.org

Metro Manila Film Festival or MMFF is a yearly tradition in Metro Manila where MMDA will host a festival of amazing Filipino Movies. Did I get that right? I hope so. Well technically it is a celebration of amazing Filipino talent, where families gather to celebrate the holiday season and watch these films. Normally, mainstream movies are shown, this year, they decided to feature quality indie films, as I’ve heard, missing the likes of Vice Ganda, Vic Sotto, Ai-Ai De Las Alas and Kris Aquino.

First of all, yes I am not a fan of Indie Films. Not that I don’t like them, but I’m just a mainstream person. I just like to watch feel good films, and every time I watch Indie, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered and feelings of hurt or confusion. Yep, they’re very good in story-telling and playing with emotions, but it’s a lot to handle. But yeah, why not give them a chance, right? It’s been a long time since my last Indie experience.

One of my friends has this MMFF movie pass or complimentary pass, or whatever you call it, and invited me to watch some of the films. I don’t have all the time in the world so we decided we will be watching two films. I really wanted to see Vince & Kath & James, but my friend isn’t a fan. We agreed to see Seklusyon, because of course, it’s horror! It should be in the list. I’ve also been amazed by the concept of Saving Sally since seeing its trailer online. We also agreed on seeing that first. We came to TriNoma by lunch time, good thing because there’s no much people watching yet, and the lines were short. So we got the chance to start our “movie marathon” seamlessly. It’s so cool to pay P5.00 for the films instead of P220.00, that’s a real relief, but I’m confused if I’m helping the industry with this. But hey, an opportunity is an opportunity, so I just grabbed it. :p

So we started with Saving Sally. I was so excited! I was like a kid waiting for the Avengers film to start. The movie theater wasn’t full. Again, it was noon, so there’s not much people watching. It’s already a lot of people for me for this timeslot. So the movie was fine, the animation was superb and the flow of the story is very solid. I just find it awkward that the actors are speaking in English.  I also don’t like Rhian Ramos playing the lead, they could’ve gotten some other new actress. However, the protagonist, Enzo Marcos, was very charming and did a good job, he was very relatable. Well they’re just small bumps on the road, but other than that, it was a feel good movie, something I did not expect from an Indie film. There was no roller coaster of emotions for me, I was just witnessing how this “teen” experienced heartbreak and how he used it for his advantage, and in the end, he got what he wanted, and this is real life, less the sci-fi stuff. I felt like it was a Disney short film, but in this case it was full length. I am amazed at how far Pinoy Animation has gone. I sincerely love and appreciate this film, and I hope we get more of this in the future. Screw what haters say, but this is really a great effort! ❤

Then off we go for a quick snack, and headed straight to the next movie theater for Seklusyon. Now this is what I came for, no pun intended. My MMFF experience wouldn’t be complete without a horror film! Well, Kris Aquino’s time is done, so it’s time for new comers. This time, the movie house is full, it got me more excited. As the movie started I had this feeling to focus properly, because, you know, horror films need to be deciphered, and in this case, it is also an Indie film, so a lot of understanding has to be done, or else I’m screwed. I love the setting, I am impressed with the 1940s effects, the costume is SO on point, the actors were great! Ronnie Alonte did great, but Red Bustamante was a revelation. Her expressions and gestures were just flawless! The combination of all the actors were perfect. I was really impressed. I was thinking, this film will definitely bag awards! I got thrilled, scared and surprised all at the same time. This movie served it’s purpose. The movie feeds off from your fear from evil and uses it to scare you, very clever and effective. It got me all curious and as expected, a lot of questions were left unanswered. The beginning was creepy, up until the ending, it was wickedly satisfying! But one thing I can tell you, after this film, I won’t let images of saints stay my house anymore, I better have them removed, haha. Two of the casts, Dominic Roque and J.R. Versales also made appearances in the theater to thank us after the film, which a bonus actually. I hope they felt how the audience appreciated their performances.

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                       cinemabravo.com

I wasn’t disappointed. The movies I’ve seen were impressive, and yes, I would be excited to see more. I’ll be looking forward for Vince & Kath & James, and maybe Oro. There were also amazing short films before the movie started. They were a bit cheesy, but this is still talent. I’m impressed at where the movie industry is heading, and there’s no turning back. I just hate it when people show hate for our emerging industry. Why not just support and be proud of what we can do and achieve? Why not just be excited of what our movie industry can do in the near future? I still have hope that someday, we can be at par with international standards when it comes to movie making. And how can we help? By supporting our own films, buying them instead of supporting piracy. Always remember that there is a thin line between criticizing and shaming, so we better be responsible with what we say. There’s nothing bad that I can say about my experience with the two films, but one thing’s for sure, I will continue to support and look forward. Mainstream or Indie, they’re all the same, they’re purpose is to bring entertainment to people. As long as they serve they’re purpose, the industry will continue to grow.

The Super Parental Guardians Mega Experience

This film, The Super Parental Guardians, is Vice Ganda’s supposed entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), however it didn’t make the cut due to quality concerns. But Vice Ganda reiterated that she makes quality films. This is also her first film after the death of her friend, and supposed movie-director for this year, Wenn Deramas.

I actually forgot that Vice Ganda was going to a movie film slated for December this year. Maybe I was just busy at school, but I was really surprised to know that the trailer of her film debuted online. So I was excited, because I am a fan of her last film Beauty and the Bestie, it gave me all the laughs I could get for 2015. So again, I expected more laughs from this film, and the trailer gave what I want. From witty punchlines, to funny dialogues, the trailer gave me all the elements of a perfect comedy film. Plus it was directed by Joyce Bernal, so I was looking forward. They also did a lot of TV promotions and assured people that it is a perfect follow-up for their film last year. So that’s it, I decided that we should see this and convinced my mom to see it.

So the first scenes of the film got me interested already. Coco Martin with all his fight scenes and Vice Ganda with all her glamour and wit, it was already a perfect combination. The addition of the child starts Awra and Onyok gave pure perfection. The movie was going well, when somewhere in between I felt bored. I felt as if the story was focused more on coversations rather than making viewers laugh. It was too focused on the story. Plus, the cast seems incomplete. I miss seeing a huge cast, like the inclusion of popular loveteams and a huge cast of antagonists. They claim that this is the perfect film tradition for Christmas, but since they set the standard every year, it felt like they missed out on that standard and underdelivered. The film was funny, their tandem was exceptional, there were funny moments, but the movie was dull, it was dry. It’s missing the “Deramas Effect“, I don’t know how to say it. Sadly, my mom fell asleep by the end of the film. It was a good film, but it is a disaster compared to Vice Ganda’s previous films.

Did I enjoy the film? I did, but not 100%. Am I gonna recommend it to friends? Not really, maybe if you’re a die-hard fan, I would. It wasn’t a waste of time though, I just felt that it’s lacking the humor that her previous movies had. Maybe Joyce Bernal isn’t really for comedy? Or Vice Ganda just had to rush the film? I don’t know. All I know is this film is far better than Enteng Kabisote 10, so I can’t imagine how Vic Sotto’s film did in the box office. But one thing’s for sure, children will love this film. It is definitely a film for the whole family. And if you’re seeing this, bring your Poke Balls because you’ll definitely catch some Pokémon. 😉

Movie Experience: Insidious: Chapter 3

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Insidious: Chapter 3, 2015

One of my most favorite horror film series of all time! I wasn’t really excited to watch the film since it is featuring a new family, but the inclusion of Elise is a bonus for me. The film started off interestingly, the story seemed promising, but some parts of the film were really off. It seemed the movie focused too much in introducing the new family and forgot the core of the film which is to scare people. Some characters were also not necessary and very much trying hard. The comedic side of the films is really cool but there were more funny scenes versus the creepy scenes. The climax of the movie isn’t really scary, but I think the end of the film is the best part for me. It made me realize that the film doesn’t only give us an idea about bad spirits, it also reminded that there are also good ones. Yes it is a good film, but not the best film for this series, and not a very recommended horror film as well, but still looking forward for a fourth one.

Film rating: LIMITED

Movie Experience: San Andreas

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San Andreas, 2015

I never really intended to watch this film. I’ve always had this perception that movies starring Dwayne Johnson as the lead role is a bit too cheesy and unnecessary. I’ve always thought that he is better off as a wrestler and never liked his lead roles, especially the second G.I. Joe film that disappointed me a lot. But when I saw this film, the way I looked at “The Rock” changed! The film is really good, and didn’t just show Dwayne as the big guy, rather he is a father, a very vulnerable father with a heart, and he portrayed it very well. I must admit, the film is annoyingly predictable and overly produced, but it is annoyingly effective at the same time. The story was too cheesy, but the message behind it really got me. I also love the fact that it brings awareness to everyone about earthquakes and sharing to everyone that there is help and that we can survive them. I’m impressed, and I can say this is one of the best disaster films I’ve seen so far.

For more information, go to: http://www.preparecenter.org/countries

Film rating: LIMITLESS

Movie Experience: Mad Max: Fury Road

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Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015

One word: BADASS! This film, I did not expect to like it! I don’t know who Mad Max is, I only hear him as reference on TV or on Film so I really had no idea, or interest for him. I was actually forced to watch it, but ended up liking the movie. With the inclusion of Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron, the movie got me more excited! The film is really messy, but it’s cool messy. I didn’t have any idea what Mad Max does for a living, but the story wasn’t really necessary as the action scenes made the film really incredible. Where would you see a “war on wheels”, with their own war band? Really badass! If you’re really for action, this is definitely the movie to watch!

 

Film rating: LIMITLESS

 

 

Movie Experience: Pitch Perfect 2

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Pitch Perfect 2, 2015

I waited 3 years to see this! The first time I saw the first film, it really changed my perspective to musicals and singing actors. I can go on and on, and I can definitely say the first film is really iconic, so I really expected a lot for the second film. The film started as usual with a disaster, and that they have to redeem themselves. It was totally a circus, the movie was very cluttered. I think that’s what they really were aiming for. But the clutter is so messy that I forgot I was watching Pitch Perfect, the movie lost its element. There were no surprising performances, basically it was disappointing. The only interesting thing in the movie is the last performance. What they lack in every performance in the film, they poured it in their last. Not hoping for a third, but I felt that this second film was unnecessary.

Film rating: LIMITED

 

Movie Experience: Unfriended

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Unfriended, 2014

I’ll simply say I wasted time and money for this film. The trailer was more thrilling than the actual movie. All the best scenes are already shown in the trailer, and I was expecting a mind-blowing twist, but then I was given a lame ending. It was a great effort to surpass Paranormal Activity, it was risky, but if more effort was given, a better story would’ve been developed.

Film rating: LIMITED