2013 MMFF Thoughts (Part 2)

Here’s the second half of the reviews. Thank you MMDA for the discounted tickets. :D

Boy Golden: The Arturo Porcuna Story 

 Directed by: Chito Rono
(Jorge E.R. Estregan, KC Concepcion, John Estrada, Baron Geisler, Eddie Garcia)

The decision to watch a movie with Estregan as the lead star was a slightly tough decision to make. Last year, I was made to endure almost three hours inside the cinema watching him twitch his face to portray General Emilio Aguinaldo. The movie boasts of a stellar cast with credible acting abilities, but Estregan just has to be the lead. Because he produced it? I dunno.

The same was done in Boy Golden. This year, Estregan’s entry to the MMFF was directed by Chito Rono and his leading lady is KC Concepcion. It is the story of one of Tondo’s notorious gang leaders, Arturo “Boy Golden” Porcuna and his quest to exact revenge from an equally villainous gang leader, Razon (John Estrada). Concepcion plays Marlady, a bar dancer, who by some twist of fate finds Boy Golden and together they pursue their bloody quest.

The plot is simple and the vivid cinematography was something to look forward to. It was also fun to watch because of the Elvis dance sequences. I felt that such sequences were able to balance the gruesome murders that also figured in the movie. But it suffered primarily by the decision of their executives to add unnecessary subplots and frames (the movie is two hours and fifteen minutes long). There was a sequence where Marlady gets to show off her martial art skills against a lady in a Japanese costume. It was ok at first but because it lasted almost five minutes, it became boring. Don't get me wrong, I liked Concepcion's portrayal here. Her character as a women seeking to exact revenge from the man who abused her gave the story a solid anchor. Quite solid than Boy Golden's quest, really. The script and even its delivery could have also been improved. There were lines which are “meh.” The bottom line really is for Estregan to refrain from taking the lead role and stick to just producing them instead. Seriously, it’ll do us enough good. J

3 out of 5 stars.

Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay 

Directed by: Frasco Mortiz
(Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao, Matet de Leon)

In the tradition of MMFFs, horror movies have been staple offerings for the yearly festivities. One good thing was that they stopped churning Shake, Rattle and Roll X. This year, Star Cinema and Regal Films jointly produced Pagpag which stars the popular KathNiel love team. I’m not a fan of horror movies so it was only when a friend asked me to watch the film with him that I agreed.

The movie was based on the superstitious belief that a person should never go home directly after visiting a wake or a funeral to prevent the risk of bringing home evil spirits. The usual practice is to shake off (pagpag) the spirit or whatever curses it may have brought before going home. But of course, the lead character does not believe in such—Leni (Kathryn Bernardo) was asked to arrange the wake of Roman (Paulo Avelino), who happens to be the public’s number one enemy because of several evil legends attached to him. Cedric (Daniel Padilla) and his friends, after a night of hanging out, passed by the funeral place and soon they were violating superstitious beliefs, according to Eva (Matet de Leon), Roman’s sister-in-law. A few days after leaving the place, a series of strange deaths plague them and soon Leni and Cedric would have to find a way to stop the bad omens from further taking the lives of other people.

It is obvious that the movie has parallelisms to Hollywood’s Final Destination Series but the use of Filipino superstitious beliefs gives it a fresh take on horror. What I think should merit improvement is on how the story was developed, particularly on how the deaths (Spoiler alert: Many will die. Lelz) took place. I felt that it could have been more believable had the spirit only revealed himself to scare the characters and cause their own death instead of letting him do the malevolence. Anyway, the movie succeeded in delivering scare tactics to their willing audience. That’s good enough. And yes, Daniel Padilla was not singing so he’s not annoying. Hahaha!

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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felix felicis: 2013 MMFF Thoughts (Part 2)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2013 MMFF Thoughts (Part 2)

Here’s the second half of the reviews. Thank you MMDA for the discounted tickets. :D

Boy Golden: The Arturo Porcuna Story 

 Directed by: Chito Rono
(Jorge E.R. Estregan, KC Concepcion, John Estrada, Baron Geisler, Eddie Garcia)

The decision to watch a movie with Estregan as the lead star was a slightly tough decision to make. Last year, I was made to endure almost three hours inside the cinema watching him twitch his face to portray General Emilio Aguinaldo. The movie boasts of a stellar cast with credible acting abilities, but Estregan just has to be the lead. Because he produced it? I dunno.

The same was done in Boy Golden. This year, Estregan’s entry to the MMFF was directed by Chito Rono and his leading lady is KC Concepcion. It is the story of one of Tondo’s notorious gang leaders, Arturo “Boy Golden” Porcuna and his quest to exact revenge from an equally villainous gang leader, Razon (John Estrada). Concepcion plays Marlady, a bar dancer, who by some twist of fate finds Boy Golden and together they pursue their bloody quest.

The plot is simple and the vivid cinematography was something to look forward to. It was also fun to watch because of the Elvis dance sequences. I felt that such sequences were able to balance the gruesome murders that also figured in the movie. But it suffered primarily by the decision of their executives to add unnecessary subplots and frames (the movie is two hours and fifteen minutes long). There was a sequence where Marlady gets to show off her martial art skills against a lady in a Japanese costume. It was ok at first but because it lasted almost five minutes, it became boring. Don't get me wrong, I liked Concepcion's portrayal here. Her character as a women seeking to exact revenge from the man who abused her gave the story a solid anchor. Quite solid than Boy Golden's quest, really. The script and even its delivery could have also been improved. There were lines which are “meh.” The bottom line really is for Estregan to refrain from taking the lead role and stick to just producing them instead. Seriously, it’ll do us enough good. J

3 out of 5 stars.

Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay 

Directed by: Frasco Mortiz
(Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao, Matet de Leon)

In the tradition of MMFFs, horror movies have been staple offerings for the yearly festivities. One good thing was that they stopped churning Shake, Rattle and Roll X. This year, Star Cinema and Regal Films jointly produced Pagpag which stars the popular KathNiel love team. I’m not a fan of horror movies so it was only when a friend asked me to watch the film with him that I agreed.

The movie was based on the superstitious belief that a person should never go home directly after visiting a wake or a funeral to prevent the risk of bringing home evil spirits. The usual practice is to shake off (pagpag) the spirit or whatever curses it may have brought before going home. But of course, the lead character does not believe in such—Leni (Kathryn Bernardo) was asked to arrange the wake of Roman (Paulo Avelino), who happens to be the public’s number one enemy because of several evil legends attached to him. Cedric (Daniel Padilla) and his friends, after a night of hanging out, passed by the funeral place and soon they were violating superstitious beliefs, according to Eva (Matet de Leon), Roman’s sister-in-law. A few days after leaving the place, a series of strange deaths plague them and soon Leni and Cedric would have to find a way to stop the bad omens from further taking the lives of other people.

It is obvious that the movie has parallelisms to Hollywood’s Final Destination Series but the use of Filipino superstitious beliefs gives it a fresh take on horror. What I think should merit improvement is on how the story was developed, particularly on how the deaths (Spoiler alert: Many will die. Lelz) took place. I felt that it could have been more believable had the spirit only revealed himself to scare the characters and cause their own death instead of letting him do the malevolence. Anyway, the movie succeeded in delivering scare tactics to their willing audience. That’s good enough. And yes, Daniel Padilla was not singing so he’s not annoying. Hahaha!

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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