My Oscars 2016 Fearless Forecast


The 88th Annual Academy Awards is less than 24 hours away, but it already made history early this year – for the wrong reasons. For the second year in a row, not a single person of color was nominated in the acting categories, leading to boycotts from Spike Lee, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and many more. The outrage also fuelled the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, further prompting the Academy to mull over major changes. Whether or not these will address and eventually rectify the diversity issue, only time will tell. 

Despite the uproar, comedian Chris Rock decided to push through with his hosting duties anyway. This marks his return to the Oscars stage after 11 years. And judging from his opening monologue from the 2005 ceremonies (where he relished the presence of 4 black nominees), he will not mince words:

So, expect tomorrow to be full of snide references.

But for now, here are my picks:

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In Case You Missed the Grammys: 16 Higlights

Lady Gaga channeling David Bowie in her tribute number

We can’t totally fault this year’s Grammys for being so melancholic. After all, we lost an unsettling number of music legends over the past few weeks and I’ve never written the word “tribute” so many times before in one entry. But then, how do they account for the sappy ballad overload they subjected us to in the first hour? Did those performances really have to be so dreary?

There were exciting moments, of course. Aside from certain performances, most of the drama actually happened backstage – like Rihanna cancelling her performance due to laryngitis, Gwen Stefani attempting a guerilla shoot, and Lauryn Hill arriving late for her duet with The Weeknd (Don’t worry. He nailed it solo anyway).

But overall, the vibe really was atypical of “music’s biggest night”. As much as we want to stretch our understanding (given the somber circumstances), we hope they break away from this spell next year.

Here are some noteworthy highlights from the 2016 Grammys:

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“Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising”: A Dream Revisited


Last Wednesday (February 10), I was invited to the premiere of the digitally-restored Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising by Mike de Leon. Originally released in 1977, this poignant and exquisitely filmed romance starred Christopher de Leon and Hilda Koronel – back when cinematic love tandems didn’t have amalgamated names. It was shot mostly in Baguio City and Sagada. (Sorry, Tadhana fans: No cliff theatrics here.)

As part of this year’s REELive the Classics line-up, the remastered KMKM boasts a revitalized color palette, clearer cinematography, and a reinstated soundtrack, among other things. Not all retouches work (the restored music was too loud, sadly), but all in all, worthy homage to masterful storytelling.

My full review now up at NOOD.PH , with additional inputs by the team.

Actress Iza Calzado shares her thoughts on the restored classic.
Cast member Bibeth Orteza jazzed up her dedication by quoting her character.





Recap: Pia Wurtzbach’s Grand Homecoming Special


As expected, Pia Wurtzbach’s Grand Homecoming Special was a thinly disguised Kapamilya affair. Xian Lim took on hosting duties and Dyan Castillejo was the de facto co-host. There was a Boy Abunda segment halfway through and shoehorned video shout-outs by LizQuen and KathNiel. The musical intermissions were serviceable, though Jed Madela‘s bit could have been interspersed with more Pia snippets. The show’s about her, after all.

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