Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Movie Review: Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story

Good points:

            What I like about the Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga story, how they executed their production setting. It looked like they did not come short to their budget. The black and white cinematography looked fine also and it did not sacrifice the other elements in each scenes. I appreciate also the scenes wherein, they put it on slow motion and it made the scenes to be more highlighted.

Bad points:
            What I did not like about the movie was the action scenes itself. Almost every action scene there would be guns being fired. Personally, I don’t like hearing gunshots so somewhat I got a little paranoid while watching the movie on those parts (forgive me for being subjective here).
            Also, some scenes which included Asiong kissing his wife looked misplaced and would have been better if it was just a smack on the lips, nothing more. Another thing, E.R. Ejercito lacked more in acting and projecting how Asiong really is.
My rating:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movie Review: Let Me In

Our professor introduced this movie to us by saying that it is currently the most loved horror movie of a lot of directors. So, I expected that I would get scared and I won’t be able to sleep for a couple of nights effect (just like what Paranormal Activity did to me). But, it did not give me that, though the movie did not fail me either.

Here’s what I think..


“Twelve-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is viciously bullied by his classmates and neglected by his divorcing parents. Achingly lonely, Owen spends his days plotting revenge on his middle school tormentors and his evenings spying on the other inhabitants of his apartment complex. His only friend is his new neighbor Abby (Chloe Moretz), an eerily self-possessed young girl who lives next door with her silent father (Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins). A frail, troubled child about Owen's age, Abby emerges from her heavily curtained apartment only at night and always barefoot, seemingly immune to the bitter winter elements. Recognizing a fellow outcast, Owen opens up to her and before long, the two have formed a unique bond. 

When a string of grisly murders puts the town on high alert, Abby's father disappears, and the terrified girl is left to fend for herself. Still, she repeatedly rebuffs Owen's efforts to help her and her increasingly bizarre behavior leads the imaginative Owen to suspect she's hiding an unthinkable secret.” (here's a full plot summary)
Overall assessment:
All throughout the movie, I am preparing myself from some terrifying scenes to cover up. What I got was just some gross scenes because of the blood when Abby’s supposed-father hunted for blood to feed her.

And just for this one that I can barely look at the screen.

Freaky eyes.
Other than those two scenes, the rest was bearable to watch for a scaredy-cat like me. I mean, it is a horror movie but has the soul, for me to feel the anguish of the usual antagonist.
The movie showed the side of the antagonist, Abby (could also be protagonist). Despite that the movie showed that Abby kills, it showed also her struggle. So it did not make me hate her but feel her.
I just did not like how the story itself turned out. At the end, they showed that Abby made Owen to be her somewhat guradian/companion also. It was what she did to her supposed-to-be-father who hunted blood for her and died. It was a sad story for me, but I guess not everything ends with a happy ending.
My rating:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Movie Review: Kisapmata

Background information:

The irrational tyranny of a retired policeman over his abject wife and family emerges as a powerful force in this story of incest, abuse, and pervasive, internalized fear -- apparently based on a true case history. The ex-policeman's daughter Mila (Charo Santos), two months pregnant, is allowed to marry her boyfriend Noel (Jay Ilagan), a mild young man of chubby proportions -- but Mila's father does everything he can to make the wedding difficult. When the mother (Charito Solis) hears that her husband has given his permission for Mila to marry, she is shocked and preoccupied. Just after the wedding, she pretends to be sick, forcing the newlyweds to spend the night in her -- and her husband's -- house. It quickly becomes clear that the father is not going to let his daughter leave the house again -- and his ruthless dominance is unbalanced enough to indicate that a showdown will be inevitable. Meanwhile, flashbacks and dream sequences provide some clues as to who fathered Mila's baby -- an injustice in itself that merits some sort of retribution. by Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Tatang/Dado - Vic Silayan
Nanang - Charito Solis
Mila - Charo Santos
Noel - Jay Ilagan

Overall assessment of the story/cinematorgraphy/actors:

The story and how it was presented was very simple. But, the simplicity it has, made it a very interesting movie. There were not much of variations in the sounds, only the striking sound where you know there is something happening subtly within the characters and something unpleasant is about to happen. The countdown-feel of the constant date and day reminder of every scene plus the almost always dark lighting of the movie added a sly feel all throughout.

Though, the story of having incest is a cliché topic to tackle, the film will make you hooked to it because the film does not talk too much, it has a lot of long takes and only natural sounds scenes. Plus, the actors showed more on actions and expressions and it makes you more curious and to hold to every scene.
As I said, the actors really did great on their facial expressions and it says a lot. I made a lot of inferences and questions all throughout while watching the film because of the shots where it’s only their actions and expressions are presented. You also have to read between the lines with some of the actors’ statements. That could also be a nice point of the movie, where you do your part as an audience because as how our professor has said, film creators should not always spoon feed everything in a movie, show more and talk less. It could be boring somehow if everything is so obvious.

How it affected me/How I can I relate to it?

It affected me with the thought of if ever I had that kind of father. It somehow made me feel Mila’s situation and I know it would be very hard and a life full of fear. I somehow felt also the pain and guilt when Mila was telling Tatang that she is pregnant. Though, it just reminded me the time when I really did something very wrong and my parents were very disappointed of me. Vic Silayan really exudes the terror of being a daunting father.

Philippine culture and society:
The movie pointed out several cultures. One is the dote (dowry), where the groom’s family should give a gift to the bride’s family. Though, in the movie Tatang seemed to abuse Noel’s family by the amount he requested them to give and Mila almost refused it.
The manner of having a curfew. Tatang has imposed a curfew in their house and there were instances where it seemed a little inappropriate already. One time, Noel just had a drink with his friend in a restaurant he returned home a little late and nobody opened up for him so he decided to go to his friend’s house. Though, he saw that the lights were still turned on in the room of Tatang’s but immediately went out when he rang the doorbell. It seemed that Tatang really did not opened up for Noel on purpose.

Bubog (shattered glass) of the characters:

First, I will define “Bubog” (99% of all commercial films & independent films characters have) as how sir Rahyan defined it for us:

"Bubog are physical, mental and emotional wounds that never heal. These are wounds that will remain wounds forever and as you age it becomes your identity as a person, like a scar in the cheek or birth mark in the ear. It is a dialogue between what the environment has implanted deep within you and what you want to reveal about yourself to others."

The character in this film who has a very clear bubog is Mila. She seemed to be very reserved and restrained with her actions toward the people in the film. She always looked scared and seems to evade Tatang. Her bubog is that, she has always been harassed by Tatang. She has been suffering by Tatang’s demands and requests to her, and to the point that her life has been a hell. This was revealed at the scene where Mila and Nanang had the conversation downstairs while Tatang was already asleep. Her lines were not that specific but it could be referred to as her harassed/raped by Tatang.

“Nang, wala ho akong kasalanan. Hindi ko ginusto ang nangyari. Pinilit niya ko. Maniwala kayo hindi ko ginusto ang nangyari. Ayokong mangyari ulit yon”

When it was already near at the end, it could be seen that she is already trying to fight off Tatang’s restraints. She tried to answer Tatang back when he is trying to decide for her again. Then finally, she ran away from their house and eloped with Noel in Laguna.

Even, Nanang has her own share of Bubog which is also caused by Tatang. She revealed it also to Mila. Even before she has given birth of Mila, she tried to escape from Tatang but she failed doing so. Since then, she has decided to spend her life with Tatang. It seemed like she has decided her fate to be in prison within Tatang’s rules.

It was very visible that Nanang’s actions really differ a lot from the usual housewife that we have an idea of. She seemed very aloof and scared of Tatang. 

My rating:

If you are interested to watch the film, you can watch it here: CLICK!