D: Bong Joon-Ho
S: Ahn Seo-Hyun, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhaal
South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s journey to this year’s Cannes Film Festival was anything but smooth. Just ask any audience member who booed his latest film when the Netflix logo appeared onscreen. Their main beef – or should I say pork (?) – is that it will never be released in French cinemas, or any cinema outside the US, UK, and Korea, for that matter. Instead, it will be largely available online, as part of Netflix’s original line-up.
Continue reading ““Okja”: Occasionally obnoxious, mostly provocative”
To your credit, 2017, you’re not turning out to be the same insufferable bastard that was your predecessor – that year-long, real-life “In Memoriam” montage otherwise known as 2016 – thus far. Still, we could use more peace and order in our home turf, especially down South.
Also, less Everwing.
Come on. We are rooting for you.
The theme of this year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant was “Game of Crowns“, an obvious play on Game of Thrones, as if the scoring and treatment of the opening billboard didn’t emphasize that enough. Fortunately, the proceedings were devoid of blood and gore even if deliberations reportedly took more than an hour. And, as far as I know, everyone left the venue intact. Nevertheless, there were shocking twists to spare.
Continue reading “A Game of Crowns: Thoughts on Bb. Pilipinas 2017”
I briefly worked with J.R. Isaac when TV5 hired him to handle publicity of its young artist pool back in 2012. The campaign involved sending the talents to high-profile events, concerts, and parties and culminated with this memorable fashion shoot with his brother Raymund. During that brief period, I found J.R. to be patient and full of energy, in spite of his seemingly-pensive facade. He made sure everybody had fun. I had fun.
Continue reading “Remembering J.R. Isaac”
Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching
D: Inna Salazar Acuña and Dos Ocampo
S: Janus del Prado, Ketchup Eusebio, Lollie Mara, Joyce Burton Titular, Odette Khan, Ricardo Cepeda
Hitches abound in Inna Acuña and Dos Ocampo‘s joint directorial debut. For the most part, Ang Bagong Pamilya ni Ponching plays like a 90s local sitcom. It’d feel no different filmed in a shoddy set, replete with laugh tracks. Save for a hilarious Snapchat reference, most of the gags feel generic and passé. But what this earnest morality tale lacks in freshness is counteracted by its overall enthusiasm.
Continue reading “Enthusiasm keeps problematic “Ponching” afloat”
D: Atom Magadia
S: Tommy Abuel, Lotlot de Leon, Janine Gutierrez, Benjamin Alves, Sue Prado, Marita Zobel, Rolando Inocencio, Alex Diaz
The title of Atom Magadia‘s directorial debut translates to “gravity”. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough of it to pull us in. It opens with Tommy Abuel trying to shoot himself Deer Hunter-style to no avail. With that debilitating image, Dagsin goes off on a promising start but barely takes off.
Continue reading ““Dagsin” drags”
D: Ivan Andrew Payawal
S: Bela Padilla, Rob Rownd, Elizabeth Oropesa, Kate Bautista, Lui Manansala, Matt Evans, Joe Vargas, Rhyzza Kafilas, Raflesia Bravo, Thou Reyes, Julz Savard
The pursuit of patriarchal acceptance takes centerstage in Ivan Andrew Payawal‘s I America. This is the budding director’s first Cinemalaya entry and his second full-length feature following 2015’s The Comeback.
Continue reading ““I America”: A more calculated sophomore effort”
It’s only fitting that I started this year’s Cinemalaya binge-fest with my friend’s entry. I America is Ivan‘s first Cinemalaya-nominated piece and his second full-length feature in 10 months. Most of all, it’s the actualization of his decade-long dream.
Last Saturday’s gala screening wasn’t short of surreal! Ten years ago, Ivan was just one of many enthusiasts watching from the CCP balcony, aspiring to become a filmmaker himself. Fast forward to 2016, and there he was, onstage, candidly introducing his piece!
Bela Padilla topbills this humorous and heart-wrenching saga. Here, she plays Erica, a half-American from Olongapo who hopes to move to the U.S. with her long-lost father. Complications arise when her progress yields more questions than answers. I America also stars Elizabeth Oropesa, Rob Rownd, Kate Bautista, Lui Manansala, Thou Reyes, Raflesia Bravo, Rhyzza Kafilas, Matt Evans, Joe Vargas, Sheena Ramos, and Julz Savard.
Continue reading “Tidbits from the “I America” Gala Night”
Karlie Hay, an 18-year-old high school graduate from Tomball, Texas, was crowned Miss Teen USA 2016 last July 30. The self-professed roller coaster fanatic beat 50 other teen queens at the pageant’s 34th edition, held at The Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A favorite from the get-go, Hay sealed her frontrunner status after reciting excerpts from the US Constitution Preamble in the final round. When asked about which teen issue should presidential candidates address, she cited peer pressure, saying that “…the next president needs to confront this issue and really just let teens know that you need to be yourself and you need to be a leader.” “Of course, the next Miss Teen USA should be a leader as well“, she emphasized.
Hay is the third Texan to capture the title, following the footsteps of Christie Lee Woods from 1996 and Danielle Doty from 2011. Texas now earns the distinction of being the most successful state in both the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. Note that while Oregon also has three previous winners, the Lone Star State boasts far more placements.
Continue reading “Texas Takes Three: Thoughts on Miss Teen USA 2016”