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I love the rain

18 Jul

Yesterday’s weather was the perfect excuse to pig out,



and watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at SM San Lazaro (Yes, we live a hop, skip, and a beat away from the hippest mall in Metro Manila! Anong sey nyo?).  Perfect, too, since all my nephews and nieces are at home.  So I asked my niece Jana to take care of Maru for a while.  She agreed, basta ba kapag pumupu si Maru eh Regine, their househelp, will do the cleaning and that I will bring home a tumbler of cheese popcorn for her.  O diba?

Besides, Maru watched the Transformers last week with Ninang Aya, Ninong AD, Tita Roja and their cousins.  It was his first time to be inside the cinema and hello, he’s just a year old no so I never thought SM Cinemas would let him in.  But they did.  Too bad they didn’t allow my camera inside the theater so I just took this really dark photo of Maru enjoying the Transformers using my cellphone.

maru watch sine

Take note, he was super behaved the entire film.  He fell asleep during the talkies, though, but was just watching and enjoying the violent part.  Kaya when we got home Mike was freaking out.

Going back to Harry Potter, as usual bitin.  I’m a big, big fan of the Harry Potter book series.  Reading them made me temporarily forget about my problems by transporting me to a different world (Hogwarts!).  I watch the movie version just to verify whether my imagination understood the books correctly or whether others – the directors – envisioned the story the same way I did.  The only time the movie versions exceeded my expectations is when they cast Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire.


Sabi na nga ba, he’d make it big.

Anyway, about the HP6, wala akong masabi kundi oks lang siya.  Not outstanding, not mediocre either.  And despite knowing that this would happen since I’ve read the book, Dumbledore’s death still pierced my heart.  Kaso parang kulang sa tribute.  Mas maganda pa ang tributes kay Michael Jackson.

What I find most irritating about the film, though, is Bonnie Wright’s (Ginny Weasley) acting.

ginny weasley

A little show of emotions won’t hurt, no!  She reminds me of Kim Chiu tuloy.  But hey, Kim Chiu can do better!


Who wore it best

7 Jul

Marian Rivera’s new Darna?

darna marian r

Angel Locsin’s Darna?

darna angel

Ate Vi’s Darna?

darna ate vi

Or Tito Dolph’s Darna Kuno?

darna kuno

I say it’s hands down Tito Dolphs!

Karera premieres at Cinemalaya V

6 Jul

Hey guys, let’s watch Karera, a film written by my friend Jerome Zamora and directed by acclaimed indie director Adolf Alix, Jr.  It will have its world premiere — World Premiere daw o! — at the Cinemalaya Film Festival on July 23 (Thursday), 6:15pm, Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino better known as the CCP’s Little Theater.

karera poster

“LV runs an illegal horse race betting outlet at home. Her eldest son Ace, who works as a sota (horse caretaker) is torn between pursuing an illegal arrangement with one of the trainors for a hefty sum of money. Daughter Daisy runs away from the police after entering into a deal with them. Bingo, the youngest, waits for his girlfriend to have sex with him after a bet with his friends.  What happens next is a raw and gritty drama of human survival.”

Starring Laurice Guillen, Rosanna Roces, Jay Manalo and Joem Bascon. With Marife Necesito, Kristofer King, Mercedes Cabral, Arnold Reyes, Edgar Allan Guzman, Menggie Cobarrubias, Allan Paule, Cherry Madrigal, Soliman Cruz, Jess Evardone, Moises Magisa, Kenneth “Tetay” Ocampo and Van Leinard Pascual.

Director: Adolfo Alix Jr.
Screenplay: Jerome Zamora
Executive Producers: Adolf Alix Jr. and Jay Manalo
Line Producer: Maxie Evangelista
Director of Photography: Albert Banzon
Production Design: Roland Rubenecia
Associate Director: Armando Reyes
Production Managers: Rolly Palmes, Robin Palmes and Tonee Rose Acejo
Editor: Aleks Castañeda
Music: Teresa Barrozo
Sound Design: Ditoy Aguila, Junel Valencia


23 Jun

This definitely made my day.

Bruno in germany

Photo Source

That’s Bruno (Sasha Baron Cohen) and the gang in Berlin, Germany.

*ODK! is, according to Jeff Tabason, the jologs version of OMG!

Burton’s Wonderland

23 Jun

Ang tagal pa nito, but the recent release of these photos is getting me all excited!  Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is scheduled to have its theatrical release on March 5, 2010!  That’s just a couple of months before the Philippine elections, if there will be one!

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts

Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts

Anna Hathaway as the White Queen

Anna Hathaway as the White Queen

Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Matt Lucas as both Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland will not be a retelling of the Lewis Caroll novel, but instead will be a sequel where Alice is already a 17-year old teenage mother of two with drug issues.  No, I’m just kidding.

But really, Alice will be a 17-year old played by Mia Wofjskjfakljfakljafaflfal.  Ang hirap tandaan ng pangalan niya, day!

Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

She will run away from a bad marriage proposal and, following a white rabbit, return to the land she once visited.


mia wonderland

Typical Burton.  Looks promising, ano?

It’s up now!

14 Jun

The new issue of One Philippines, the fastest-rising free newsmagazine for Pinoys abroad, is now on the web.

Get to read about him…




…and them.

HAYDENvicky belo-photo by danny tan


BAKETbaboy.jpg CANNEStarantino letter to mendoza Papa Fred (seated) with his sisters Myrna (standing) Millet (L) and Marissa (R) HAYDENprincess velasco2

And do follow us on Twitter for more insider updates.

To see the whole magazine and who made it on the cover, CLICK HERE.

(Photo credits: Aji Aggarao for Brillante Mendoza; Bicycle Pictures/MJM Productions, Mr. Adolf Alix and Ms. Arleen Cuevas for Manila and Independencia)

French Film Festival na!

6 Jun

Bonjour! Bonjour! Comme ca va?  Is the rain making you feel artsy?  Or are you really into French films? Then this is your chance to watch a hell-of a lot of films FOR FREE!


The French Film Festival is taking place from June 5 to 14 at the Shangri-La Cineplex and it’ll be featuring films from Francois Truffaut (Les Quatre Cents Coups or The 400 Blows) to 2007’s Jean de La Fontaine.

400 blows

Plus on June 12, Independence Day, there’ll be a special screening of Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s Serbis and Raya Martin’s Independecia.  I’m so gonna be there!

I also took note of the skeds of Van Gogh, and Un Secret. Deadma na ang rain to watch French films on the big screen. C’est magnifique? Ouai!

Bisou! Bisou!

CLICK HERE for the film showing sked and film description.

Writer’s Director

6 Jun

“Ito lang ang palagi kong sasabihin: Kung ano man ako ngayon, at kung nasaan man ako ngayon, at kung saan ako pupunta, I always owe it to Armando Lao. Siya ‘yung kinu-consider kong mentor ko, mula noong una hanggang ngayon, at hanggang sa darating na panahon. I owe it to him.”

– 2009 Cannes Best Director Brillante Ma. Mendoza in his interview with

‘Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema’

26 May

First Pinoy Best Director in Cannes Dante Brillante Ma. Mendoza was presented at the awarding ceremony by Terry Gilliam, the director of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Heath Ledger’s very last film.


Mendoza’s acceptance speech goes:

“First of all I would like to thank the selection committee, who are responsible for bringing my films here for the past three years. And now with an award for Best Director, I would like to thank the Jury. And of course I’d like to thank my producer; thank you for the trust and faith in my films. I’d like to thank also a very committed staff and crew. I’d like to share this award with my daughter, Angelica, who has always been my number one critic and to an actor I really respect, Coco Martin. Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema.”

I hope he had already called the scriptwriter Bing Lao and personally shared his glory with him.

Tarantino liked “Kinatay”

26 May

But while Hollywood movies are not much in abundance, the stars still come out, if somewhat fewer this year. Most of the American headliners (“Brad!” “Angelina!”) turned up at the premiere of “Inglourious Basterds.” They soon disappeared, but Mr. Tarantino was everywhere. He danced on the red carpet, chatted in English on French television and praised Mr. Mendoza’s “Kinatay.” Mr. Mendoza, a rising talent who was at Cannes last year with the rowdy “Serbis,” could use all the help he could get with this movie. A morality tale that he wields like a blunt instrument, “Kinatay” hinges on the inaction of a police-academy student while a prostitute is murdered and dismembered. The movie had its respectful fans, but many others fled the theater.

– Manohla Dargis for The New York Times

And I kinda know why he liked it.

A roaring rampage of revenge

A roaring rampage of revenge

Here’s the list of winners at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival

Palme d’Or (Golden Palm):
“The White Ribbon,” by Michael Haneke (Austria)

Grand Prix (runner up):
“A Prophet,” by Jacques Audiard (France)

Jury Prize:
“Fish Tank,” by Andrea Arnold (Britain) and
“Thirst,” By Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

Special Career Prize:
Alain Resnais, director of “Wild Grass”

Best Director:
Brillante Mendoza, “Kinatay” (The Philippines)

Best Actor:
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds” (United States)

Best Actress:
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Antichrist” (Denmark)

Best Screenplay:
Feng Mei, “Spring Fever” (China)

Camera d’Or (for debut film):
“Samson and Delilah,” by Warwick Thornton (Australia)

Best short film:
“Arena,” by Joao Salaviza (Portugal)

Short film special distinction:
“The Six Dollar Fifty Man” by Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston


25 May

Dante Brillante Ma. Mendoza, the controversial director of this year’s Cannes Film Festival entry, Kinatay, received the Best Director Award.  This is the first time that a Pinoy won Best Director in Cannes.

AFP Photo

AFP Photo

To me — a non-insider in the indie film circuit — it’s a very happy news.  I don’t know, however, why some Pinoys seem to hate Mendoza so much, they criticize him for the littlest things like changing his name from Dante to Brillante then later to Brillate Ma.’s Edgar O. Cruz even insinuates that Mendoza has a “French Connection,” hence, his inclusion in Cannes for two years in a row (Mendoza has already denied this).  Some call his works, including last year’s Cannes entry Serbis “exploitation cinema” or a disservice to “what Lino Brocka stands for” due to its “lack of anti-dictatorship stand.”

Ano ba? Bitter?

Anyway, I hope that this award will open more distribution deals abroad for Pinoy filmmakers.  It is true that there are many talented Pinoy directors, writers, etc. in our country and a little funding and “kita” can go a long way.

My wish, though, is that screenwriters/writers get as much credit and exposure as the directors since a film’s worth all boils down to this: “Story is King.”

Bagay ba?

22 May

Erich Gonzales has been chosen to reprise Dina Bonnevie’s role in the ABS-CBN remake of Katorse.  Bagay ba?

How old is Erich anyway? And how does she compare? 

Dina Bonnevie in the 1980 film Katorse

Dina Bonnevie in the 1980 film Katorse

Do they stand a chance?

22 May

Moving on from the sicko-Hayden scandal, I’m quite excited about this Sunday’s awarding at the Cannes Film Festival.  Despite receiving really bad reviews from American critics, many think that Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s Kinatay might just win the prestigious Palme D’Or. Popular film critic Roger Ebert just named it “the worst movie in the history of Cannes.”

A scene from "Kinatay"

A scene from "Kinatay"

But, according to Kinatay hopefuls, this film could just be Cannes’s “dark horse.”

On the other hand, Raya Martin’s Independencia is getting fairly good reviews. wrote:

Raya Martin is only 24, but he is heavily, and admirably, committed to two overlapping projects: the appropriation of indigenous Filipino history after Spanish and American colonisation; and the laying bare of cinematic illusion.


The stranger (Alessandra de Rossi) in Independencia

The stranger (Alessandra de Rossi) in Independencia

This film, however, is not in the running for Palme D’Or.  It’s included instead in the Un Certain Regard category where young directors’ works are being featured.

Meanwhile, Manila is getting mixed reviews.  One film critic (Sorry, I forgot who) said that lead actor/producer Piolo Pascual’s presence failed to stand out in the film, and in one of the two segments, the dark skin make-up became quite distracting.  This critic, however, noticed that Piolo Pascual is a “hunk.”

Piolo Pascual in Manila

Piolo Pascual in Manila

On the other hand, Rosanna Roces, who plays Piolo’s mom in Raya Martin’s segment, was described as “a strong presence” in the movie.  Well, even in real life naman, Rosanna is one character that will surely stand out.

One review, however, notes that Manila will make viewers want to see the original films his movie plays homage to — Lino Brocka’s Jaguar and Ishmael Bernal’s Manila By Night.  I’m ashamed to admit that I’m one of those who haven’t seen these films yet.  I wish copies of these, plus this year’s Cannes participants, will be available soon.

Oo nga pala, I wonder what happened to the short film Sabongero.


15 May

Been back in Manila since Monday but haven’t done any follow up on my El Nido post.  Will do that later.  I’m writing just to ask you guys a favor:

Could you remind me again why I didn’t like X Men Origins: Wolverine?  Parang nakalimutan ko na eh.



Oh! Yeah! Right! It’s the Hagibis costumes.  And the screaming-one-last-aaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh when somebody dies.  And the all-too choreographed movements of the characters.  Plus all the other cliches found in the movie.

Saka sabi nga ni Mike, para siyang 300 na sinamahan ng Kung Fu Hustle.

Butt, erm…I mean, BUT anyway, I’ve always loved Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  ‘Wag lang kapag nagpo-pose siya nang ganito.

wolverine gay

Parang sasayaw ng “Careless Whisper” eh.

Pinoys in Cannes

24 Apr

Just read from that three Pinoy films have made it in the super prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  

Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay will be competing against the films of Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion, and many other well-known directors for the much-coveted Palme D’Or award.  Adolf Alix’s and Raya Martin’s Manila, which by the way stars its producer Piolo Pascual, is in for exhibition.  And again, Raya Martin’s Independencia is included in the Un Certain Regard category (what is that, anyway?). 


I think Mendoza’s Kinatay, a film about the chop-chop cases here in the Philippines, is written by Sir Bing Lao.  They’re the same award-winning tandem who made Serbis, which also made it in Cannes last year.  I attended Sir Bing’s advanced scriptwriting workshop a couple of years back and I remember him sharing with the class that he was working on a script about chop-chop victims.  So I guess heto na ‘yun.  And it’s already in Cannes.  Ang galing di ba?