Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Tale of Medical Horror...

A twisted plot is always not enough for Horror films to say it's actually worth watching. Much like for B-Horror movies, it's not the death itself that's so bad but how or what might one have to go through to get there. I've seen a lot of films of this type but this one lingers in my mind, that in terms of inflicting and torturing its victims this one stands out. One needs to be sickly insane and depraved to pursue this ordeal over the simplicity of murdering a human being.

In medical science we grew to knowledge that conjoined twin (humans to be specific) is to be surgically separated but here we have sick and a mad doctor with a warped surgical vision. From his twisted mind, to absolute distaste for humanity and his desire not only to play god but to be a god (literally) - creator of things. And his creation a "Human Centipede".

Ever wonder what it would be like to take three human beings and sew them all together via their digestive tracts? These are alive human beings! Get the idea? This movie is not a shock classic but this is one of the most conceptually disgusting movie in its genre.

I know this a bit of a spoiler but most people I know with strong stomach probably have watched this anyway. And for one, the details are common in horror films, and in case you don't have idea you may grateful and thankful that I warned you.

At first we saw a man glancing wistfully at a picture that looks to be Rottweilers doing a conga line (triplets). Dr. Heiter a once respected surgeon now in retreat to his suburban remotely and isolated luxurious home.  He drugs his victims and dumps them in an operating room located in his home basement. When he finally able to collect humans with matching tissues (means he wasted some) and victims regain consciousness, he begins to exhibit his creativity and demonstrate his surgical skills, but before doing so he briefly explains to his victims on how he plans to do it. Better stop reading here if you have a weak stomach.

To surgically join the victims, he sews them together via their mouths and anuses in one row (which prompt my circumstantial weird thoughts like "Were you'd rather be? In the front, middle or back?). Knee caps were also surgically modified so they can move via hands knees to literally move like an insect, a centipede. Escalating to its disgust ion is that the food that goes in at the front digested and comes out in the rear. Dr. Heiter begins to toy with his new pet, ordering them to crawl and feeding them or I'd say just one (front segment) in a bowl. Now here's the sickest part, Katsuro (the Japanese) in the front suddenly down facedly apologizes for his need to excrete (Pity for the second segment). Dr. Heiter joyfully shouts, "Feed her!! Feed her!" For odd reason she seems reluctant (as if she have a choice). We don't really see anything (visibly the shit I mean) there by the way, and that's pretty much gross enough to imagine. Just watch and judge it yourself. Heck I'm sure I don't want to be part of human centipede but in contrivances all nobody most certainly want to be in the middle.

Now on how about the movie ended? I'll leave you the rest to be discovered. The end may surprise you and I think it's fair enough that you too have some share of the movies atrocities and vile perversion. (LoL)

In the premise subject matter, we have been presented of movies that tackles the horrors of medical science i.e. island of Dr. Morrow and the ever popular Frankenstein. But a prominent distinction is made due to its claim of 100% medical accuracy (I couldn't agree nor disagree I'm no doctor) of the featured procedure, which to me making the movie all the more twisted and horrific.

To wrap this up, the film is true enough to its genre and indeed it delivered what audiences presumably expect, it even scored high on this scale. In fact the movie won the recent Screamfest Horror Film Festival Awards as Best Picture.

So for midnight B-movie fans, it's a pleasure to say that this stomach-churning piece and all its depravation and disgust ion this will surely satisfy you. Obviously for some this is not going to be a cup to tea but for those willing to sit through the film's gory moments, and delve deeper into the narrative you'll find something uniquely enthralling.

 And at times when the horror genre is crying out for originality, this piece simply cannot be ignored.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A gift that springs eternal....

The annual commemoration of our People Power Revolution always presents the opportunity to revere its true meaning and to apply the Spirit of EDSA in serving the nation. Today marks the 25th year of "People Power." Twenty-five years ago, Filipino marched to the streets of EDSA, the one's who took courage to oppose the country's dictator. Armed only with their rosaries and prayers, civilians held their ground and stopped tanks and heavily armed soldiers from breaking the crowd. To the younger generations of Filipinos, the EDSA Revolution may just be a history lesson. But to many Filipinos who lived through martial law and the re-birth of our freedom in EDSA, it was indeed a 'shining moment' in our history."

And the man inspired this bloodless revolution? Ninoy Aquino, but it his death would be the catalyst of the Philippine Revolution.

Last weekend, they have been replaying the inspiring life of Ninoy in prison in national TV, I watched it several times and I never got bored a bit. Perhaps they are can only be few true stories more uplifting than faith, hope and redemption.

It's the same weekend when I finally seen the film "The Shawshank Redemption"(Imagine, a self-confessed movie buff haven't seen the film which many considered one of the best of all time). Needless to say of its accolades, the film tops(all time list) IMDB chart with the rating 9.2, In Rottentomatoes(most widely known as a film review aggregator.) The film scored 88% in tomatometer and a whopping 98% from the audience.

A prison drama about spiritual and contemplative journey through the fantastic inner world of human's hope, desire, disillusions, beliefs and finally redemption. Here we have Andy, a stalwart of strength and hope as he withstands the cruelest fate, his journey from a life of comfort and normality to one void of freedom. There can be very few things in life more difficult in life than coping with a term of imprisonment, much difficult when you are not guilty of the crime.

Colloquially called lifers, serving prison terms ranging from 25 years up to and a lifelong confinement without the possibility of parole. These are the pressures of close confinement, a Lifers should adapt to the prospect of “death by prison,” a harsh realistic threat in prison life.

Some "Lifers" like Andy come to see prison as their home and try to make the most of the limited resources available in prison; they establish daily routines that allow them to find meaning and purpose in their prison lives, lives that might otherwise seem empty and pointless. Here Andy finds incarceration to be painful but becomes constructive experience as he never looses hope. Things begin to change for the better when Andy finds a way to use his skills and education to benefit his fellow felons. This leads into building a library which Andy gradually expands and became the best educational prison facility of its kind during that time. It takes him six years to do it, but Andy never gives up hope. And finally his opportunity of redemption came.

Much like Andy,  Ninoy had his shares of prison life but never gave up hope, they each achieve more than a normal person can, despite constant oppression. Both was able to withstand pressure and time, that's all it takes. They may have different motivation to live and survive but both have this one common gift, a gift they shared to us. Hope.

From Andy, Hope is his gift to his friend Red, who no longer even tries to impress the parole board at his hearings. And finally by his terms he was finally able to get a nod from parole board. His own redemption.

And Ninoy, he stirred hope among us when he made the statement, “the Filipino is worth dying for.” Those powerful words resonated. The weary Filipino heart did not give up hope then. The former senator backed up his words by going back home after his exile. And his redemption, our democracy and freedom.

These are the few stories that touches our soul and leaving an impression that even long after it still takes a hold of your mind and heart leaving a residue that lingers through eternity.

The Price of Perfection....

Shocking, it never crossed my thought that ballerina as a profession could be these dark and creepy. That such professional artistry, the graceful art form like ballet can be this draining and hellish as depicted in "Black Swan".

This film showcases the highlights of backstage drama, the internal angst ballerinas can endure - all the intense, the bitter competition, the stretches and lengths to which some of them might go to get the part, to impress and be praise by critics, or to leave a legacy.

We can see how physically exhausting and damaging this form of art can become - feet, legs, back, they all take a hit. Some sacrifices even go beyond the physical: Like in Nina's case, she loses her grip on sanity and reality. She witnessed the self-mutilation(stabbing her face) of the woman she succeeded as Swan Queen at the hands of a nail file, but we later notice it was in Nina's own hand. Was it Nina who stab Beth or was it all a figment of her psychosis? These are but a few of the several moments where Nina's perception of events are shaky and questionable.

In the film, to present a new concept and edgy interpretation of "Swan Lake" they are casting a Swan Queen who can embody both the light and dark aspects of the soul. Nina passed, as she has what it takes to embody the light side(White Swan), but the quiet, timid, girl lacks that dark edge to become a true Black Swan.

Nina true character reflects innocence and sexual naivety, like prepubescent child as represented in her room, pink inspired interior color, with stuffed animals and etc., her virginal innocence trait perfectly fits to the role of the White Swan, yet Nina is not an automatic fitting choice for the passionate Black Swan role. Encouraged by her seem to be lecherous producer/director, to 'let go', find herself, one of which is to give over to her sexual urges. There was a scene that he even insists Nina to masturbate to overcome her inhibitions. That in order to play the Queen's duality, she must let loose and allow her darker side to emerge.

Nina wants to be absolutely perfect. From her childhood days, she has dreamed of being the perfect ballerina. In her early age she was trained and pressured by a demanding mother, then grown to believe that true success comes from perfecting every move, every turn, and every aspect of her on-stage performance. But such dream is slowly turning into obsession, a quest to perfection, perhaps since childhood she have seen the the tragedy (who dropped out of ballet) of imperfection in the persona's of her mother, and the outgoing play lead "Beth" who attempts suicide in a frustrated sense of humiliation. Her drive was also intensified when she was threatened by another dancer "Lily" that seems to perfectly embody the role of the Black Swan.

In this film, a patriarchal culture fosters an imagined perfect feminity presented in an art that Nina obsessively strives for, but life in reality, perfection is unachievable and unobtainable for the fact it is only artificial. Perfection by the world's standards can never actually be achieved. And such quest is not only limited to ballet, admit it or not that most people(including me at times) are driven or might say haunted by a desire a need of getting everthing just right if not perfect - work, family, home, relationships, life in general. That we are all a subject of insatiability, a human nature that one can never be satisfied with mediocrity and we constantly strive towards something better, greater, and something truly incredible.

Nina thought she was achieving perfection in her life, but in reality, she struggled battling her own personal demons, she physically and phychologically abused herself. When she was asked to portray - she was asked for balance - not to immerse 100% in both sides. Unfortunately she took it to extreme and fell quickly into the depth of darkness and immorality and perhaps her only way out is death.

And the moral "Perfect" is an artificial idealism, that even for a fact that we acknowledge that nobody is in this imperfect world yet we are still fascinated by it. Some dedicate their lives to the pursuit of perfection but some consumed by it in an unhealthy way. Imperfection is part of the human condition that life includes disappointment and disillusionment that good things come to an end; ultimately we lose something, something we love, someone we love; things don’t turn out the way we hoped.

For me, life is too short to waste it just by striving to be perfect in just one small facet of our existence. I rather choose to live a rich and full life. Choose excellence instead of perfection.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

UFO - Unidentified Freezing Object....

"Too gory to be an art film, too arty and pretentious to be an exploitation film, intentional obvious laughs, funny but not quite a comedy" as often described. But B-Rated movies really serves its purpose in times you are not in the mood to think and just simply craving for sheer, straight and pure entertainment which is what exactly I yearn in times boring weekends and had nothing to do.

As simple enough I have the movie 'Decoys" to dispose. "Species" on laughing gas to be exact. We have intergalactic creatures disguised as hot blondes seducing dimwitted earthlings. They're not just simply killing men in campus but they're actually trying to breed, finding a host to save their species which in the brink of extinction.

Set in college school campus in Canada, we  have guys Luke and Roger which after posting a banner of Annual Ice Queen contest they head back to the dorm to do their laundry(with a couple of beers) when a couple of blondes name Lily and Constance teasingly approach them. The girls just left the guys hanging though but intentionally leaving something (a quarter). Now having an excuse to meet the girls again, Luke went to the girls dorm but since no one answered he entered the room (is this a Canadian thing, twice in the movie that they trespass house when no one responding) and noticing an unusual biting cold but still took a moment to sniff one of girls lingerie. The blondes suddenly arrive so he hides in the closet as he peeks to what seem to be a girl-girl action. Both half naked, tentacles sprang in one of girls’ chest then the other sprayed a liquid nitrogen (which I couldn't grasp why?) but lately I just concluded perhaps it's their freaky anatomy that needs to maintain a certain temperature since they're from a frozen planet. After then the blondes (who we now know as Aliens) leaves allowing Luke to escape.

Luke shares his baffling story with his buddy, Roger however didn't buy Lukes ridiculous tentacles story and that aliens inhabiting the bodies of hot teenage coeds(accused of being delusional due to alcohol) especially when Roger who is so crazy about Constance and plans on losing his virginity to her. Perhaps understandably, most of the men on campus seem willing to take their chances regardless. After couple of suspicious deaths, leaving body victims intact but frozen from within. Luke begins investigating to unravel the mystery. (As if the plot is not obvious at this point LoL)

All in all, Decoys is wrapped with almost all the elements required of a B-horror flick, from stereotypical characters, fake scares, and etc. I'm quite disappointed in the violence and gore department though, not that I'm insisting that films of this genre should require splatter fest and copious amounts of blood but with such premise I find it odd not a single drop is spilled.

I also didn't like the predictable twist ending. In the end I always knew there had to be one(left) - which always been a part of the formula of this genre but movie makers could have at least made it a little conclusive proof.

In the Science department would it really be possible to crossbreed with a life form possibly based on “RNA”. Science as I know is that all Earth’s life form is DNA structured and there has been none any single animal on earth capable to breed with humans. In the story they explored such possibility when Roger agreed to mate with Constance regardless of the consequences, (I wonder which head did he actually used to think that time?). Maybe possibly if an advanced alien civilization equipped with highly developed and complex knowledge in exobiology then some genetic engineering and unwilling test subjects. I’ll just leave this to wiz freaks to discuss.

Decoys’ definitely will not make my list of all-time greatest sci-fi horror flicks, but it's a passable entertainment. They made a great job to keep things constantly rolling and plenty of humor so no dull moments to put it simply. So seeing it doesn't hurt that much, it can be a riotous experience if capped off with some friends, beers, popcorns and Pizzas.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Reaches of Evil.....

Photo inset courtesy of link
Last Sunday after hitting the gym I went straight to SM North Cinema 9 to watch the long anticipated movie the "The Rite". But prior to my cardio routine, I already bought tickets to ensure we have the best seats in the house. When I got the ticket I'm quite surprise that the movie is shown in a non-reserved seating cinema and it only cost 111PhP, one of the cheapest movie ticket I had for recent years.(Isn't this movie currently on the top of U.S. Box office?) The last time I recall it was 80PhP(Provincial Rate). Perhaps it’s been a quite while since I haven’t been into theaters as I was expecting it's going to cost me 150/180Php. And as scare/fear meter, I brought along my cousin who is faint or chicken-hearted to horror films and a firm believer of ghosts, not that I want to cause her some sleepless nights. I just wanted see how should she react to the movie.

The reel rolls where a young mortician Michael working in their mortuary business who then finally decided to leave town and his depressing life to explore world possibilities. But even after attending seminary class he begins to question his faith. The events (mother's death) from his past could have put his belief in odds and his theological training was not able resolve that conflict. So he opted to leave the holy institution; but before he can finally do so he was sent to Vatican, as the last effort of Father Mathew(his mentor) to convince and enlist him as a priest.

While attending the exorcism class, he is clearly skeptical but enticed entirely by the subject whether if a person is possessed or simply needs a psychiatric treatment. With his doubts of authenticity of exorcism process, he was sent to Father Lucas an unorthodox exorcist but with long resume of successful exorcisms conducted. But being not a stalwart man of faith that even after seeing the frightening evidence and proof of the unseen from Father Lucas’ work, Matthew still continues to struggles with his beliefs until an ominous occurrences force him to consider the possibility that The Devil is real and may have his eyes on him. (Watch the movie for the conclusion)

As for the characters portrayal, I find Colin O’Donoghue somewhat boring and stiff, too much seriousness. Not to put much pressure on him though as he is not a seasoned actor(I believe this is his first exposure in a big screen) He had some small parts in "Tudors" series which I haven't seen him perform.

A distinction even made it more apparent by another brilliant performance of Anthony Hopkins, known best for his portrayal of the character “Hannibal Lecter” in “The Silence of the Lambs” series. He flawlessly assumes the role of Father Lucas. Even interesting is that some scenes seems to reincarnate the ghosts of Hannibal Lecter’s (crazed doctor) in Father Lucas speech and actions. I find it distracting though as I am loosing Father Lucas character a bit. But this seem to be Sir Hopkins trademark, Father Lucas and Lecter presents a mix of piercing intelligence and wild savagery, tied together by his screen-filing charisma. That no matter how bad he delivers, just remembering Lecter will spark your interest in every gestures and every twitch of his face that he makes in the movie. It's like having Hannibal Lecter shtick clothed in priest’s robes.

Photo inset courtesy of link
What I really appreciate in the film is the cinematography (who doesn't love Europe). Thanks for the visually beautiful shots. The cinematography got my attention from the get go, the captivating depictions of behind-the-scenes of mortuary work, he made it interesting rather than disgusting. Then it features amazing aerial shots of Rome and the Vatican then down to the street level which allows us to view Rome the way Romans do. The scenes are shot in close up at eye level which adds to our feeling of presence in the room of the exorcisms.

The musical score though is off beat, for me one of the vital elements of horror films is the sound. (Have you tried covering your ears to block the sound, and notice how it lessens your fear?) Surely there was some creepy laughter, church bells, the whispers; but they could have done probably more in the background music to amplify our fear. Its simplicity didn't emphasize the fearful actions portrayed on the screen.

The most chilling aspect of “The Rite” is that it is based on true events. While little is revealed concerning this fact, the story’s basis in reality is alarming when events begin to unfold. While this movie is about exorcisms and must include religious symbols and values, the movie was keen and careful enough not to force any beliefs on the audience, mostly because the central character is a nonbeliever.

‘The Rite’ is just an average and predictable exorcism flick, it's only distinguishable feature is the theatricality of Anthony Hopkins. We have seen movies about faith being questioned and tested many times before, and were presented to us in far more interesting ways than this. The Rite is only recommended to those who get goose bumps from the standard silly rating of PG-13 scares. (No gore and blood scenes, not much profanity)

Nonetheless, “The Rite” is a great addition to the stack of exorcism flicks. As we mentioned before, we do not expect this to surpass its predecessors but in between its flowing plotline, visually appealing cinematography and great cast, the film is entertaining, and there are no a dull moments. “The Rite” is already at the top of the box office for its opening weekend, and  this supernatural psychological thriller surely will chill and captivate viewers for some time.

And to my favorite line in the movie, "What did you expect? Spinning heads? Pea soup?” Father Lucas said after performing the exorcism.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Films in different views....

Photo inset courtesy of link
A recent post in a socialization tool instigates me to write something about on how people view certain films. Quite ironic is that the movie they called and I qoute in our local dialect "di mapuslan" means "worthless" is the film which just won the 2011 Golden Globe Awards Best Picture. This is somehow just fired me up, do these people at least have an idea that the film was inspired from the story of Mark Zuckerberg the brainchild of social network champion Facebook? That the social tool that they so love about was turned into a film concept and adapted to screen and yet they can't even appreciate the film. And by the way, the film has been nominated for 8 Academy Awards this coming February 27, 2011, and again including the “Best Picture”.

But I do understand if some people sees the film in such a way. Not all of us appreciates or recognize films in an artistic form. Most of us are just engrossed either by effects, actor's performance, action choreography and star glitters, that we don’t notice the other layers or the core beneath the film itself.

This is what separate movie-buffs from movie-goers to Movie Critics. Now how about we cite their differences.

Movie-goers only watches’ films from a particular genre and they go only for films that's the best of the genre. They are very unlikely to see(unless forced by circumstance)a film off from their favorite genre. Let's say for example, guys who loved action-packed films, they’ll most likely could stand watching lovey-dovey chick flick films without getting bored.

While Movie-buffs(like me) loves anything about movies. They are the type that sees and can or will appreciate anything good or bad about the film. Let it be their favorite or non-favorite genre and surely they'll find something great in the film to consume. We always desire story telling adapted on-screen.

The other thing that sets movie-goers apart from movie-buffs is the film cast. It's quite obvious at times that movie-goer go for A-list Hollywood stars from the likes Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts. 

While Buffs knows A-list cast to supporting casts and even interesting is they know the directors and producers(like in my case, I'd even research the producers/directors filmography and direction style just to know what to expect.) Information just almost everything about the film.

Like moviegoers and movie-buffs it is always arguable or debatable for both parties what is the best of the best. Now here comes the bias part let's take the Golden Globe Awards a few months back, some think that "The King Speech" should have won, or should it have been "True Grit".(I haven't watch these films yet except for “The Social Network”, the sad part is it might not even be shown in the Cinemas here so I can't say yet what's my take on those films) but it was "The Social Network” who bagged the award for Best Picture.(You see, the one that was tagged boring and what's worst being tagged as worthless won the award.) Movie-goers don't really care about this much. At the end of the day it is still the movie buff that can appreciates a film, the one who can both agree and disagree to both sides. There is no “best of both worlds” for movie-goers.

But this is when Movie-critics do comes to the equation.

Photo inset courtesy of 
Movie Critics are basically movie-buffs but not all movie-buffs can be a Movie critic. Critics generally have an education, an academic background of past and present films. They simply know a lot if not everything about movies. At some point a Movie-buff can debate, hey "everyone is a critic" and even further argue that they can review a film and write about it as well but how come some are getting paid just by reviewing it. True, but then again if technically you don't know the film in its artistic form, or they way it was created, and the parallels of the film from classic to present, then don’t think highly of yourself as movie-critic, because you're NOT. I'm neither too but I am hoping to prosper as one someday.

But not all love’s move critics; at time they are bias (well anyone about anything can be bias). Opinions are one thing which is why some people view critics sometimes as being irrelevant and arrogant. They can dispatch a non-intelligent discourse or non-scholarly criticism and sometimes get away with. Somehow it’s just meant to catch the eye with ignorant hyperbole, just like some tabloid journalism. For me, true critic’s judges the movie on behalf to other movies he has seen and keep the idealism of why movies were created in the first place and it's always in creative criticism's not just destroying the goodness of the film. There are no right no wrong in any review they give, they will analyze both the greatness and the flaws of a film. Surely they have favorites as well just like anyone else but (since they are movie buffs underneath despite of cold criticism) it boils down to one common thing, their love for reels which will affect and apply to every film they watch and every review they inscribe.

So which are you? A movie-critic that analyze too much? that in such a depth they are unable to think that the movie is just simply a movie, just to entertain us.

Or a Movie-buff that loves movies with a little know how and still can appreciate films at face value 

Or a Movie-goer that can sit through their favorites and be entertained without giving much thought but cannot appreciate the art form of a movie. But hey they don’t analyze – they just enjoy.

My parting words - if you want to be a movie-critic then become an educated film-lover. For Movie-buffs stop trying to be a movie-critic just share your honest opinion and what you feel about the movie. And for Movie-goers, movie isn’t just entertainment try to expand your horizons to the outer limits. There are interesting stories and different worlds behind the film waiting to be discovered.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Picking up the lines.....

Photo inset courtesy of link

After seeing "My Amnesia Girl" Yes I've watched a Tagalog film and I'm posting my take on this reel. It's a relief and a nice feeling that I'm no longer just compelled to write something about it as a response to a friend's challenge that I can't appreciate a local film. But I can't help it, local movies to date are more themed for gross commercialism, rather than with characterization, deep plot and great story. But for the fact that local film studios will not stop producing love and movie dramas I might as well appreciate what's the best they can offer and be entertained in its face value. 

Surprisingly this film has been the subject of talks in the office weeks after releasing it and what's amusing is my male colleagues are the most vocal about it. So I thought maybe I should give this a shot.

Seeing the trailer gave most viewers the impression that it's a typical Hollywood rip-off of "50 first dates" but to my surprise it didn't turned out to be. The film is in its own distinct and unique plot which I haven't seen even in Korean movies, well I consider them by far superior when it comes to love story genre. I lately realized that this was directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, the same director behind who brought us "One more Chance".

Following the movie's premise, Apollo and Irene met in a speed dating event where Apollo is among the participants and Irene is the event photographer. So technically she was not part of those who can be dated with. Apollo however took a shot with the first pick-up line in the movie"Do you believe in love at first sight? when Irene replied No, Apollo then went to left her side, only to reappear behind her and said "What about second sight?". This is how they started exchanging corny pick up lines, the ones used in SMS Messages before, though I'm not sure if there some or maybe still who crack those lines nowadays. Now I've heard and read most of these pick-up lines but not this one, “Tae ka ba? Di kasi kita mapag-laruan eh”. This one made me laugh.

Moving over the course of the movie. (Just to warn you, this is a spoiler) Their relationship grew until one day Apollo asked Irene to marry him which Irene excitedly said yes then comes the day of their wedding, Apollo however suddenly had a bout of cold feet and left Irene alone in the aisle. Irene was naturally devastated, adding to our sympathy that she is sick (asthma) and an orphan.

Some years later their paths cross again. When Apollo approaches Irene, she gives no hint a memory of him and instantly claims to have amnesia. whoa that's one quick reaction, and probably the most sarcastic way to greet your ex, that you have no recollection of him at all(you literally chose to forget all his existence because of what he did), but in the film's contrive Apollo took Irene's claim without really validating, but this gave him an opportunity to pursue Irene again. That begins his resilience and hilarious misadventures chasing Irene and to be able to undo all the past, by offering Irene the best memories she could ever have.I can somehow relate to Apollo's effort in winning Irene back as I remembered planning it to one of my ex, unfortunately she couldn't wait and got married.(LoL) but true love is hard to resist, they learn, and just when they find themselves ready to commit to each other, the past catches up with them. I suggest you go watch the rest of the movie.
Photo inset courtesy of link

The script is smartly written; clever and witty. The lines were delivered in an ample humour and not over-acted. The two main characters have the habit of throwing pa-cute, pa-sweet funny little lines which are charming enough that you’d even might want to adapt some if you're in a relationship or linger one or two of those lines. These are the moments which I consider as intentionally corny; yet tickling and charming. To say the least, “hindi baduy”. For me, this is a better comedy than other films claims to be.

To those who think or thought that it’s all funny scenes, well how about the scene in the cottage where they went to shield from the rain. Irene pretending to forget the sad part of their cancelled wedding and desperately wanting answers from Apollo. That part was so touching to the point that Irene's breathing again was impaled by her Asthma. This scene perfectly executed by the filmmaker. For me it was even far more superior to the film’s climax.

And the characters? Who wouldn't fall in love with John Lloyd and Toni? Their chemistry blended perfectly. Both characters possess a very playful and witty sense of humour that makes a comedic and dramatic interplay between the two. I'm not really a Toni Gonzaga fan even for all her talents I just can't simply find her charismatic; But here, her onscreen acting presence left me nothing else but to adore her. The childlike fun-loving personality complements well in her character. For John Lloyd, there's nothing much to say, I'd say in his generations, he is the best in what he does, acting so naturally, so human, so honest, so true, and with such natural humour he is so candid that fits to his character as well. In local mainstream most male leads tend to do pa-cute antics, for John Lloyd he does it unconsciously and not ridiculously makes an effort in his acts. “Bumenta sya tsaka hindi baduy”.

Added to the main casts are the “barkadas”. Not over-acted either by supporting casts although there are some pa-cute antics but it’s tolerable. Another thing that's nice to watch is Toni's best friend is my crush Beatriz Saw(since PBB), she's funny and had a perfect chemistry with the female lead not to mention that she is cute and sexy.

Direk Cathy seems to have mastered this type of formula for commercial success. The movie shines as a romantic movie. Judging from her previous creations, she is one of those who exercise some degree of originality which is rare among local directors. She perfected this genre and does it uniformly so well (see her other films) her skill in creating romantic movies is already in such a celestial degree that leaves all my skepticism's in local romance films, she built a credibility that I just have to simply put my trust in her crafted film to be entertaining and fun. For me she is the saving grace of “Tagalog” romantic movies

There's some part of the movie that disappoints me though. It's how the two leads reacted to a suppose problem, now knowing the fake amnesia. I thought it was not such a big fuss and can be easily sorted when discussed clearly by heart. Now that they're back in each other’s arms despite of what happened with them before (I don't think there will be any or gravity wise wicked than Apollo leaving her on the wedding day). Irene totally forgave and accepted him again. The ploy was just too obvious, to create some tension in the films climax; yes it could be arguable but not enough to be so upset about. This was just to create an obligatory climax that nearly ruined or cost the perfect ending. 

All I can say the movie was worth viewing. It'll make you smile, laugh, cry and fall in love in love all over again. It's a lesson of Forgive and Forget. Too bad it was not shown in the love month, this could have been a perfect date movie. 

If romantic movies are your cup of tea, then this is for you.


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